During the week of July 23, three federal courts issued welcome rulings about restroom access by transgender students at public schools — in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Florida. In each case, the court agreed that schools are or may be obligated to allow transgender students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, and rejected arguments that allowing trans students to use those restrooms violated constitutional or statutory rights of cisgender students sharing facilities with them.
The most significant of the three rulings came from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals based in Philadelphia. In May, a three-judge panel of that court had unanimously affirmed District Judge Edward G. Smith’s decision to deny a preliminary injunction sought by cisgender students and their parents who objected to the Boyertown Area School District’s policy of letting trans students use facilities consistent with their gender identities.
The case was so clear-cut to the appellate panel that they issued a one-paragraph ruling shortly after the oral argument, indicating they would follow up with a full opinion later. The full opinion, written by Circuit Judge Theodore McKee, was issued on June 18, and was joined by Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz and Senior Circuit Judge Richard Nygaard. McKee was appointed by President Bill Clinton, Shwartz by Barack Obama, and Nygaard by Ronald Reagan.
In today's political climate, I thought any news such as this was worth passing along.