A federal court just ruled in favor of a policy that requires a separate bathroom for each biological sex, the Washington Examiner reports.
Having a separate bathroom for each biological sex would seem to be the obvious approach, and it has been for some time.
But, this approach has been challenged by transgender activists, who would like to see a bathroom policy in which an individual gets to use the bathroom of the gender with which the individual identifies. In this scenario, it would be possible for a biological male-transgender female, for example, to use a bathroom designated for biological females.
This latest court ruling to address this issue comes from Adams v. Sch. Bd. of St. Johns Cty.
This case has to do with a bathroom policy implemented by the St. Johns County School Board in Florida. The policy - looking to prevent the above scenario, requires transgender students to either use a gender-neutral bathroom or the bathroom that matches their biological sex, rather than their self-identified gender.
The put this case into perspective, the county has about 40,000 students, and, of those 40,000 students, about 16 identify as transgender.
The policy was challenged by Drew Adams in 2017. Adams is a biological female who claims that her rights were violated when the school's policy prevented her from using the boys' bathroom, which is the bathroom of the gender with which Adams identifies.
Adams made two main arguments. One is that the school's policy violates federal civil rights laws and the other is that the policy violates the U.S. Constitution.
In 2020, a three-judge panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Adams's favor. But, the court subsequently decided to hear the case as a whole, en banc.
In the latest ruling, which came on Friday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the school by a vote of 7-4.
Fox News reports:
The court’s decision was split down party lines, with seven justices appointed by Republican presidents siding with the school district and four justices appointed by Democratic presidents siding with Drew Adams.
According to the Examiner, the court, in part, based its ruling on the fact that the "United States has a long tradition of segregating certain spaces, such as bathrooms, on the basis of sex, without falling afoul of either the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment or Title IX."
It is unlikely, however, that this will settle what has become a national issue.
Rather, considering the fact that other courts have sided with the transgender activists on this issue, the likelihood is that, at some point, this issue will make it before the U.S. Supreme Court.