LeGaL Condemns Departments of Justice and Education Withdrawing Guidance for Transgender Students

Tonight, Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler notified the Supreme Court of the United States that previous guidance from the federal Departments of Justice and Education, clarifying the scope of protections for students who are transgender under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972's ban on sex discrimination, would be withdrawn.  The announcement came as part of a communication to the Court regarding the litigation in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., scheduled for argument before the Court on March 28.

Rescinding the guidance is cruel and will accomplish nothing but to threaten the well-being of transgender students across the country.  What is also true, though, and very important is that rescinding the guidance cannot alone negate Title IX, its protections, or other federal antidiscrimination laws.  The First, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, have all already construed current federal law as protecting transgender people.

While this action may moot the deference question presented to the Court in G.G., the pure statutory interpretation question remains, and the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL) urges the Court to definitively answer that question in the affirmative.  LeGaL is also proud to have joined an amicus brief, in support of Virginia high school student Gavin Grimm, that will be submitted to the Court next week.  The brief highlights the precedent establishing the rights of transgender people to be free from sex discrimination under the plain language of federal civil rights laws.