Though many believed that former President Donald Trump’s ability to stack the U.S. Supreme Court with a 6-3 conservative majority would be an easy ticket to shoot down virtually every anti-conservative case presented to the high court, unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be what’s happening.
According to the Washington Times, conservative court watchers were unhappy after the Supreme Court this week refused to take up a case concerning transgender students and restroom sharing at a Virginia school, notably marking the third time that the high court has taken a pass on transgender restroom cases.
Gavin Grimm, a transgender male, sued the Gloucester County School Board in 2015 after the school refused to let him use the male restroom, given that his biological sex is female. The school board provided Grimm with a private restroom, but Grimm said such accommodations were stigmatizing.
Grimm would go on to score a victory after a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Grimm’s favor, and other transgender students in the school system, giving transgender students the right to use whichever restroom corresponds with their identified sex, not their biological sex.
But when it came time for the Supreme Court to decide whether or not to have an opportunity at making a final ruling in that particular case, which would certainly set precedent for similar cases in the future, only two SCOTUS justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., voted to hear the case, falling short of the four total needed to make it official.
South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman said of the high court’s decision to pass that the 6-3 majority “is not as conservative as the numbers suggest,” adding that it appears as if SCOTUS is letting transgender bathroom laws develop in lower courts.
“They probably won’t take a case until the lower court rules against the trans students. At that point, it will be too late to do anything but rule for the trans students. We saw a similar pattern play out with gay marriage rulings,” Blackman said.
Curt Levey, president of the conservative Committee for Justice, said of the SCOTUS decision to look the other way, “There might not be five votes in the direction we would like to see it go,” adding, “it’s clearly going in the wrong direction from the conservative point of view.”
Unfortunately, for conservative-leaning parents and students, it doesn’t appear as if they’ll receive any help from the high court on the transgender bathroom issue, which is certainly not what conservatives expected after the Supreme Court was stacked with six conservative justices.