CHICAGO, Ill. — A Wisconsin high school girl who identifies as a boy should be allowed to use the boy’s restroom, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today (May 31).
Ashton Whitaker, a 17-year-old senior, won permission to use the boy’s restroom in September when a district court judge overruled objections from the Kenosha Unified School District. The appeals court upheld that ruling, dismissing the school district’s claims of harm to other students. The 7th Circuit declared other students’ concerns “hypothetical,” in contrast to the real harm Whitaker suffered.
If the school district appeals, Whitaker’s case could be the first involving transgender restroom access to go before the Supreme Court.
The justices decided not to hear another case involving restroom and locker room access for transgender students earlier this year after the Trump administration revoked guidelines requiring schools to open facilities based on gender identity, not biology.
That case challenged the federal government’s right to issue such a directive, but subsequent cases have focused on whether gender expression is a constitutionally protected right.
— by Leigh Jones