US appeals court upholds Florida high school transgender bathroom ban

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us appeals court upholds florida high school transgender bathroom ban

Friday, December 30, a starkly split federal appeals court maintained a Florida high school’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond to their chosen identities.

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, by a vote of 7-4, that the St. Johns County school board did not violate the U.S. Constitution or federal civil rights legislation by mandating kids to use bathrooms matching to their biological sex.

Drew Adams, a transgender male who attended Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and was prohibited from using the boys’ restroom, challenged the policy in 2017. Instead, he was obliged to use women’s or gender-neutral restrooms.

The school board’s attorneys did not reply quickly to calls for comment.

All seven justices in the majority of the Atlanta-based appeals court were chosen by Republican presidents, including six by Donald Trump, and the four opposing judges were nominated by Democratic administrations.

Two other federal appeals courts have declared that transgender kids are permitted to use restrooms that correspond with their identities.

The ruling made on Friday raises the possibility that the US Supreme Court will take up the case.

In a case from Virginia, this court upheld an earlier appeals court judgement in June 2021.

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The Biden administration had petitioned the 11th Circuit to overturn the policy of the Florida school board. The White House did not comment immediately.

Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, writing for the majority, disagreed, stating that the school board had a significant interest in preserving kids’ privacy and that it was “incorrect” to conclude that it relied on illegal transgender stereotypes.

In addition, the Trump appointee stated that Title IX permits separate toilets based on biological sex, using “the plain and usual meaning of’sex’ in 1972” when the statute was enacted.

She also cautioned that a judgement in favor of Adams may “change school dormitories, locker rooms, showers, and athletic teams into sex-neutral locations and activities. Congress, not the courts, should decide whether Title IX should be changed to equate ‘gender identity’ and ‘transgender status’ with’sex.'”

In dissent, Barack Obama’s appointment Circuit Judge Jill Pryor said that by requiring Adams to use gender-neutral toilets, the St. Johns school board branded him with a “badge of inferiority” by judging him “unfit” for equal protection.

Pryor argued that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee that no one would be required to wear such a badge due to an unchangeable trait. “The majority opinion violates this guarantee.”

States are similarly split on the issue of transgender restrooms.

According to court documents, 22 generally Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia supported Adams, while 18 largely Republican-leaning states supported the school board.

Previously, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit found the board’s restroom policy to be unconstitutional. This judgment was overturned on Friday.

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