GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. — The American Civil Liberties Union today filed papers ending Gavin Grimm’s request for an immediate halt to the Gloucester County School Board’s policy prohibiting him and other transgender students from using the common restrooms at school. The new filings clear the way for the ACLU to proceed with litigating Grimm’s case in district court.
“We believe that today’s filing represents the most efficient path forward to ensuring that justice is served for Gavin,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. “Gavin graduated from high school before his simple request to his school board to treat him like every other boy could be validated, but this case is far from over. We’ll continue to move forward so that Gavin’s rights are vindicated and so that we can ensure that no other transgender students in Gloucester County have to go through what Gavin went through.”
For the past three years, the ACLU has represented Grimm in a lawsuit challenging the school board’s discriminatory policy prohibiting boys and girls who are transgender from using the common student restrooms and forcing them to use separate facilities. Grimm had sought an immediate preliminary injunction ordering the school board to stop enforcing its policy against him while his case proceeded.
The landmark transgender rights case briefly made its way to the Supreme Court earlier this year before eventually being sent back down to lower courts for reconsideration following the Trump administration’s withdrawal of a Title IX guidance clarifying protections for transgender students.
Arguments at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had previously ruled in Grimm’s favor, were originally scheduled for September. But the Fourth Circuit recently cancelled those arguments and asked the trial court to hold additional hearings to determine whether Grimm still needs an immediate injunction now that he has graduated from high school.
The ACLU has now withdrawn that request for an immediate injunction. The filing today instead continues to seek a more permanent injunction halting the school board’s implementation of their anti-trans restroom policy, as well as continuing to seek nominal damage claims on behalf of Grimm.
“Our lawyers’ decision to drop the appeal of a procedural issue in Gavin’s case clears the way for us to get before the trial court on the merits of our argument that Gavin and all transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX and the constitution,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire Gastañaga. “It allows us to get the issue of whether transgender discrimination is sex discrimination settled so that school divisions that continue to wait for a court to tell them what’s right and wrong can get moving ahead with guaranteeing all transgender students the rights and dignity they deserve.”
“Our fight to have our rights and dignity respected as trans people didn’t end just because I graduated from high school. I am in this for the long haul, and I remain hopeful that my case will help make sure that other transgender students are able to attend school safely and without discrimination,” said Grimm.