The U.S. Supreme Court has placed a temporary hold on a lower court order that okayed free choice of bathroom usage by transgender individuals.
The action follows a ruling last week by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that voided the transgender rights interpretation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). That court said only Congress or the Supreme Court could reinterpret the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend protected status to include gender identity and sexual orientation.
Now the Supreme Court has spoken and thus far has not endorsed the EEOC’s interpretation.
In the case under review, the nation’s highest court didn’t issue a final, binding rule, but in a 5-to-3 vote remanded the issue back to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia, which earlier had ruled that 17-year-old transgender student Gavin Grimm, who was born a girl, could use the boys’ bathroom at school.
The Obama administration this spring ordered the nation’s public schools to allow transgender students to have free bathroom choice. So far, 23 states have sued to overturn the ruling.