Before the Doomsday Clock of the Era of Trump even strikes noon, the administration’s efforts to shred the rights of the most vulnerable Americans are already bearing fruit.
The Supreme Court of the United States was slated to hear its first ever case on transgender rights, G.G. v. Gloucester, on March 28. The case concerns a transgender high school student in Gloucester, Virginia who was denied the right to use the boys bathroom at school.
The Fourth Court of Appeals had ruled in the boy’s favor, citing the May 2016 guidance from the Obama administration which clarified that Title IX — the 1972 law that protects children in schools that receive federal funding from discrimination based on sex — extends those protections to gender identity. This clarification was based on a decade of supportive case law and expertise about the science of sex and gender.
But within hours of becoming attorney general, Jeff Sessions — along with Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — rescinded the Obama guidelines, sowing confusion about the extent of Title IX protections.
Because of that, the Supreme Court announced on March 6 that it was refusing to hear Gavin Grimm’s case, vacating the affirming ruling of the Fourth Court of Appeals on the grounds that it was based on guidance that the Trump administration rescinded. Now the lower court will have to consider the case again.
This is a blow to transgender kids and their families — and to the majority of Americans who now support the rights of transgender children. However, it is critical to note that nothing Trump does can take away the Constitutional rights of transgender children to be protected from discrimination.
The fight for recognition of trans kids surges on, and their human rights and dignity can’t ever be removed by anyone or anything.