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Idaho Bathroom Law Targeting Transgender Students Blocked by Judge

Author: Christopher Wiggins

Transgender students in Idaho can use restrooms that match their gender identity while a challenge to a new state law proceeds after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction halting the law’s implementation.

Republicans passed Senate Bill 1100 earlier this year that prohibited transgender students from using restrooms or locker rooms in line with their gender identity. Those who witness another student using a bathroom that does not match their sex assigned at birth may sue their school, the law stipulates.

“Today, the court puts a pause on SB 1100,” U.S. District Judge David Nye wrote in his order Thursday, the Idaho Statesmanreports. “It does not find it unconstitutional. It does not find it constitutional. This is not a full adjudication of any argument on the merits.”

In a lawsuit filed last month, Lambda Legal represented a student seeking to prevent the new law from initiating.

“The court’s ruling will be a relief for transgender students in Idaho who are entitled to basic dignity, safety, and respect at school,” Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Peter Renn explained in a statement on Thursday. “When school is back in session, they should be focusing on classes, friends, and activities like everyone else, rather than worrying about where they are allowed to use the restroom. No one’s return to school should be met with a return to discrimination.”

Transgender students may access different bathrooms depending on the rules of their school district, noted the judge. One in four Idaho schools allows transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms in keeping with their gender identities, according to the court.

Lambda Legal says Senate Bill 1100 discriminates against transgender students based on their gender identity. It violates Title IX but is unconstitutional, the organization asserts.

Nye’s temporary restraining order will prevent the law from becoming effective before school begins.

Federal circuit courts have rendered split decisions regarding similar laws. As recently as 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Virginia ruled that a policy mandating restroom restrictions for transgender students violated Title IX and the Constitution. However, the 11th Circuit in Alabama ruled differently in a similar case.

As a result of differing opinions issued by federal appeals courts, litigants frequently look to the U.S. Supreme Court for guidance.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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