Friday, May 25, 2018

Other Big News

Sometimes big news out shines the other news; the Grimms case over shadowed other court wins around the national.
Three transgender-rights cases to have their day in court this week
Courts in Montana, Oregon and Pennsylvania will hear cases this week involving transgender people’s access to gender-segregated public facilities.
NBC News
By Julie Moreau
May 22, 2018

This week alone, three lawsuits — from Montana to Oregon to Pennsylvania — involving transgender people’s access to gender-segregated facilities will have their day in court.

On Monday, a district court judge in Montana heard from both sides in Hobaugh v. Montana. The case concerns I-183, or the Montana Locker Room Privacy Act, a ballot measure put forward by the Montana Family Foundation that would require transgender individuals to use public facilities, including restrooms or locker rooms, corresponding to their “biological sex” and not their gender identity.
[…]
The Montana Family Foundation pushed back against the lawsuit in a statement issued by its president, Jeff Laszioffy.
No surprise there that a “family” is leading the opposition.
In Oregon, two organizations — Parents for Privacy and Parents’ Rights in Education — claim transgender-inclusive policies implemented in Dallas School District No. 2 in Dallas, Oregon, violate the privacy of non-transgender students.

The new rules and policies, their complaint states, “radically changed the meaning of ‘sex’ in Title IX” of the Education Amendments of 1972, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Portland claimed the school board “unilaterally rejected the Title IX meaning of sex, which for 40 years has meant biologically male and female, two objectively determined, fixed, binary sexes rooted in our human reproductive nature.”
Um… no. The definition of sex in Title IX also means “sexual stereotyping” as defined by the 1989 Supreme Court case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.

The third case is,
The third case, Doe v. Boyertown, will be heard on Thursday in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Parents of children in the Boyertown Area School District claim the district’s transgender-inclusive restroom policy violates the privacy rights of non-transgender students.
The Morning Call had this article about the case…
Appeals court upholds Boyertown transgender bathroom policy
By Peter Hall
May 24, 2018
Transgender students in the Boyertown Area School District may continue using the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities after the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the district’s policy, which other students had challenged.

After hearing arguments, Judge Theodore McKee announced the unamimous decision of the three judge panel not to suspend the policy, finding that the anonymous group of Boyertown Area High School students who challenged the district had not shown that they were likely to succeed in a full trial of their case or that they would be irrepairably harmed if the policy remained in place.

Decisions from the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals typically take weeks or months, but noting that the high school’s graduation is weeks away, McKee made the rare move to give the panel half an hour to attempt to decide the appeal Thursday. The judges returned to announce the decision after about 15 minutes.
So that case is ready to go to trial and you have to wonder if they will settle out court or take it all the way to the Supreme Court, my guess it will go to the Supreme Court.

These were not the only cases heard this week…
Federal judge finds Missouri transgender prison policy violates Eighth Amendment
The Jurist
By Erin McCarthy Holliday
24 May 2018

[JURIST] A judge for US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri [official website] held [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that a prison's policy of refusing hormone therapy treatments to its transgender inmates was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by Jessica Hicklin, a transgender woman in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC), which refused to provide her with hormone therapy because of what the MDOC had named the "freeze-frame policy." Rather than basing decisions on individualized assessments of each prisoner's medical needs, the policy automatically denied hormone therapy to any transgender prisoner who was not receiving such therapy before entering the correctional facility, even though it was provided for those who had been receiving such therapy prior to entry.

The court held that this policy was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that the prison "knowingly disregard[ed] Ms. Hicklin's serious medical needs through the enforcement of the freeze-frame policy."
I think we are well on our way to a Supreme Court case, my money is on the first Monday in October the court will announce that it is hearing a case on Title IX.

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