Friday, April 03, 2015

All It Takes Is One Court Case

The thing with all the federal advances in our protections is that they are all based on either administrative rulings or court cases and not on legal statutes. And one court has decided neither Title VII nor Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause apply to us.
Look At How This University Responded After Winning Case Against Transgender Student It Expelled
By Zack Ford
Posted on April 2, 2015

A federal judge in western Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday against a transgender student who had sued the University of Pittsburgh for discrimination.

According to a decision from District Judge Kim Gibson, a George W. Bush appointee, Seamus Johnston had no claim of discrimination against Pitt for not allowing him to use the men’s locker rooms and bathrooms and eventually expelling him for doing so. “The simple answer is no,” Gibson wrote, alleging that Johnston had not transitioned enough (i.e. undergone sex reassignment surgery) and that there are no protections based on gender identity to be found under Title IX or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Transgender Law Center, which represents Johnston in this case, was disheartened by the ruling. Legal Director Ilona Turner told ThinkProgress, “We were surprised and disappointed with the ruling. We respectfully disagree with the judge’s conclusion, which appears to overlook the great weight of recent authority that confirms that transgender people are protected by the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and antidiscrimination laws like Title IX and Title VII. We are currently evaluating the next steps.”
All it takes is one conservative judge to overturn all the precedents set by the previous court cases.

This is something like the Maine case where the Human Rights Commission ruled for the student and a lower court judge overturned the commission’s ruling. Then the Maine Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s ruling. But unlike the Maine case the University of Pittsburgh case does not have specific law to protect the trans student but rather just legal precedent.

It seems to me that that Mr. Johnston has two options; the first is to abide by the judge’s ruling or appeal it. This might be the case that goes all the to the Supreme Court where it will be a crap shoot, it could go for us or against us.

1 comment:

  1. Excuse me a question:
    Why are transgender persons a problem in the bathroom, but homosexuals in this question not? That have these bigots never been asked?