U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Judge Refuses to Order School to Suspend Transgender Policy

When you lose a case at trial, sometimes it's better to just let it go.

Gary McCaleb, a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, doesn't think that way. He lost a ruling in Chicago that says anti-discrimination laws protect transgender students.

"It's not a defeat until the Supreme Court rules the wrong way," McCaleb said. "And I don't think they will."

Bathroom Privileges

U.S. Judge Jorge Alonso denied his request for a preliminary injunction against a suburban school district that allows transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. The plaintiffs in the case -- more than 50 families in the Township High School District -- claimed the district policy violated children's privacy rights.

The case is not over, but the judge has foreshadowed his opinion about it. McCaleb said an appeal is likely.

He said the battle is worth it because the issue should go to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the high court had the issue last term and deferred ruling on it.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently said transgender students should be able to use a bathroom according to their chosen sexual identity.

Students' Privacy Rights

The other students' privacy is not really the issue, the appeals court said in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District.

"A transgender student's presence in the restroom provides no more of a risk to other students' privacy rights than the presence of an overly curious student of the same biological sex who decides to sneak glances at his or her classmates performing bodily functions," the judges said.

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