For the first time, federal judges have suggested that constitutional challenges to state laws banning gender-affirming care for minors are unlikely to succeed, and have stayed a preliminary injunction that was issued by the district court on June 28 against operation of Tennessee’s law. The case is LW. V. Skrmetti, No. 23-5600 (6th Cir.). The state’s request to the trial judge to stay his preliminary injunction pending an appeal had been denied by that … <Read More>
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits educational programs or activities that receive federal funds from excluding, denying benefits to, or subjecting to discrimination any person on the basis of sex. Title IX includes a provision exempting from this anti-discrimination rule any educational institution that “is controlled by a religious organization” with “religious tenets” inconsistent with complying with Title IX.
In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton … <Read More>
A federal judge ruled on January 5 that a West Virginia law forbidding transgender girls from competing on girls’ scholastic sports teams does not violate the constitution or the federal law banning sex discrimination by educational institutions. B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education, 2023 WL 111875, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1820 (S.D.W.Va., Jan. 5, 2023).
West Virginia enacted the “Save Women’s Sports Bill” in 2021. The bill says that “inherent differences” between “biological … <Read More>
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, ruling in the first of four pending lawsuits challenging the current version of the military policy on transgender service, issued a wide-ranging ruling on September 13 attempting to settle some of the remaining problems in deciding what information the plaintiffs are entitled to obtain through discovery as the case continues. The case, renamed since President Trump was removed as a defendant and James Mattis quit as Defense Secretary, is now … <Read More>
In the course of deciding an appeal by some supervisory public employees of a district court’s refusal to accord them qualified immunity from a discharged employee’s claim of discrimination because of perceived sexual orientation (that took place in 2010), a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals stated in Naumovski v. Norris, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23891, 2019 WL 3770193 (Aug. 12, 2019), that it was not then “clearly established” by the Supreme Court … <Read More>
A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a ruling on June 14 on several appeals filed by the Justice Department in Karnoski v. Trump, one of the lawsuits challenging President Trump’s transgender military policy. The result was not a complete win for the government or the plaintiffs, but the case will go forward before U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle using different legal tests … <Read More>
On January 22 the Supreme Court granted applications by Solicitor General Noel Francisco to stay the two nationwide preliminary injunctions that were issued in December 2017 by U.S. District Judges on the West Coast to stop President Donald Trump’s ban on military service by transgender individuals from going into effect. The vote was 5-4, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan indicating that they would have denied the applications for … <Read More>
Two federal district judges have issued new rulings in lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s ban on military service by transgender individuals, mainly adverse to the government. [Addendum: After this was drafted, we received a decision from a federal magistrate judge in Baltimore on discovery issues in one of the other challenged to the transgender ban. Our summary appears at the end of this posting.]
After the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9… <Read More>
The precedential meaning of a Supreme Court decision depends on how lower courts interpret it. The media reported the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling as a “win” for baker Jack Phillips, since the court reversed the discrimination rulings against him by the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. But the opinion has a deeper significance than a superficial “win” or “loss” can capture, as the Arizona Court of Appeals demonstrated just … <Read More>
On August 2, the Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals announced that instead of holding oral argument in Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit challenging the Gloucester County School Board’s bathroom access policy, it was sending the case back to the district court for a determination whether Grimm’s recent graduation from high school made the appeal moot. Did Grimm still have standing to seek the injunctive relief that he sought? Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, … <Read More>