Monday, September 26, 2016

The First Monday In October…

…Is only a week away.

It is on that day that the court announces the cases they will hear this season, and the big question for us is will they hear any cases on trans rights.
Supreme Court has reasons to duck transgender rights fight
Reuters
By Lawrence Hurley
September 25, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide within weeks whether to hear a major transgender rights case for the first time, a dispute involving which bathroom a Virginia high school student can use, but the justices have reasons to duck the issue.

The case involves a 17-year-old transgender student named Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male and is mounting a legal challenge to gain the right to use the boys' bathroom at his public high school in Gloucester County, Virginia.

The local school board is asking the justices to hear its appeal of an April 19 ruling by the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found that transgender students are protected under U.S. laws that bar sex-based discrimination.
This is the big one for us, there are so many things hinged on this case. If they refuse to hear the case we have a limited win since it will only apply to the appeals court.
If the high court refuses to hear the case, the justices would leave in place the groundbreaking appeals court ruling in favor of transgender rights that Grimm could use the bathroom of the student's choice. If the justices hear it, it would be one of the biggest cases of the 2016-17 term that opens Oct. 3.
[...]
There are several reasons why the court could turn away the appeal, including the fact that there are other cases on the same issue pending in lower courts, meaning the justices could weigh in at a later date.
However, if they will hear the case it will be a crap shoot.

On the Keen News Service website they have a legal analysis of the case,
Gloucester v. Grimm (Case No. 16-273)
In its petition to the Supreme Court, the school district’s primary argument is that, when Congress passed Title IX, it intended the word “sex” to mean “nothing more than male and female, under the traditional binary conception of sex consistent with one’s birth or biological sex.” The U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation of “sex” to include “gender identity,” it argues, amounts to creating new law.

 Attorneys for Grimm, which includes the ACLU, submitted their reply brief September 13. Their primary argument is that this case is “the wrong case at the wrong time.” There are no conflicts –yet- among the various federal appeals courts, says the brief, and the 4th Circuit has not yet had a chance to rule directly on the merits of the central issue. ACLU attorneys also suggest Gloucester is attempting to expand the case into a challenge of the Department of Education guidelines; instead, says the ACLU, the case is just about the school district’s own determination that Title IX does not cover gender identity.

Attorneys from most LGBT legal groups are expected to submit briefs on behalf of the student.

At deadline, the case had not yet been scheduled for a “conference,” a meeting where the justices decide whether to take up the case. But Amy Howe at scotusblog.com says the case could be on the agenda for the October 14 conference.
If they accept the case you can expect tons of legal briefs, I imaging that ever pro and every anti LGBT organizations will file a brief.

The website also has another case that they say we should watch is the case of,
Trinity Lutheran v. Pauley (Case No. 15-577)
One case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this session also implicates state laws against non-discrimination and the church.

Trinity v. Pauley involves a conflict is between the state of Missouri and a church-run daycare school that wants state funding to provide a softer surface for the school’s playground.

The state’s program, funded through a fee it imposes on the purchase of new tires, provides grants to non-profit groups for such playground resurfacing. But non-profits operated by churches are not eligible for the program. That’s because the Missouri constitution states, “no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion….”
Why we should watch this case…
Lambda Legal submitted a brief saying it was concerned that many non-discrimination laws might be undermined –not only those prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination but also religious discrimination. It notes the school’s policy states it “does not discriminate [against] students on the basis of sex, race, color, national and ethnic origin….” It does not include religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

“The omissions are unsurprising given that Trinity’s parent denomination, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, holds that being lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender is ‘intrinsically sinful’,” states Lambda’s brief.

“There is thus reason for concern that the [school] seeks government aid that would support discrimination in its program based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion….”

Missouri’s constitution, says Lambda, properly erects a fence between church and state.
I believe that if you accept public funding it should be for everyone that you cannot discriminate against people even if it violates your religious dogma. If you want to limit who can go to your daycare then don’t accept public funding.

So next Monday it should be very interesting to hear what cases they have decided to hear.

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