Court hearing for landmark trans case set amid dispute over Trump nominee for US Supreme Court

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A major transgender rights case has been scheduled to begin in late march, amid the political fight for a vacant seat on the US Supreme Court’s bench to be filled.

Conservative federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, from Colorado is likely to be chosen for the role which will then by approved by the US Senate, which is Republican controlled.

Court hearing for landmark trans case set amid dispute over Trump nominee for US Supreme Court

It is unclear where Gorsuch stands on transgender rights, but if appointed the case may become increasingly more difficult to win.

Gavin Grimm is fighting the Virginia public school district for it’s policy that prevents trans students using the bathroom of the gender that they identify with.

The male student began the lawsuit to be able to use the male’s bathroom in school in 2015.

The Gloucester school district in Virginia voted to ban trans students from using appropriate bathrooms, instead forcing Gavin and other potential trans students to use the toilets of their “biological gender”. He was subjected to abuse, such as being compared to a dog, in meetings at which he was present.

At the time, the school board said: “This issue is not about one student; rather, it’s about all our students. We as a Board are seeking to do what’s best for our district in an open, transparent manner.”

A federal court did rule that Grimm must be allowed to use the men’s facilities at his Virginia Gloucester County high school.

The ruling was the first of its kind, for an appeals court to have ruled on a trans bathroom issue under the Title IX Act, which bans sex-based discrimination. However, the school board asked the US Supreme Court to review the ruling.

Until a nominee is approved by the Senate, the court remains one justice short after Antonin Scalia passed away in February last year.

Four liberals and four conservatives were left on the panel which means a 4-4 ruling is likely. This ruling would favour Grimm, but would fail to set a nationwide legal precedent.

If Gorsuch’s position on the Supreme Court bench is confirmed then the court may rehear the case.