Monday, December 19, 2016

Appellate Court Denies School District's Claim That It Would Suffer Irreparable Harm by Granting Equal Restroom Access to Transgender Student

Education Law Prof Blog:

Appellate Court Denies School District's Claim That It Would Suffer Irreparable Harm by Granting Equal Restroom Access to Transgender Student

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The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a transgender student's access to facilities consistent with her gender identity, bring the number of favorable circuit courts to two.  In Dodds v. U.S. Department of Education, the court refused to read too much into the Supreme Court's recent stay in Grimm v. Gloucester:
The crux of this case is whether transgender students are entitled to access restrooms for their identified gender rather than their biological gender at birth. To demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits, the movant must show, “at a minimum, serious questions going to the merits.” Mich. Coal., 945 F.2d at 153 (internal citation omitted). “It is not enough that the chance of success on the merits be better than negligible.” Nken, 556 U.S. at 435 (citation omitted). “[M]ore than a possibility of relief is required.” Id. While the Supreme Court has stayed a similar case from another Circuit, see G.G. ex rel. Grimm v. Gloucester Cty. Sch. Bd., 136 S. Ct. 2442 (Mem), that fact does not satisfy the test required of us here, and does nothing more than show a possibility of relief, which is not enough to grant a stay.
To be clear, however, this court did not rule on the merits of the issue of whether Title IX requires admission to the restroom. As an appeal of a preliminary junction, the court focused, appropriately so, on the irreparable harm the Education Law Prof Blog:


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