Supreme Court grants request for review of school bathroom privacy case

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 28, 2016

CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey applauds the U.S. Supreme Court for agreeing to review an attempt supported by the federal government to force schools to allow students to use the bathroom of the opposite sex.

Morrisey led a coalition of 21 states in September as the Supreme Court considered whether it would hear the case arising out of Gloucester County, Va., in which the lower court’s decision, if upheld, could impact not only Virginia, but also West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Morrisey’s coalition argued the federal government’s position unlawfully threatens up to $55.8 billion in federal funds for schools that refuse to give up local discretion to federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

“I applaud the Supreme Court for agreeing with us that it should hear such an important issue,” Morrisey said. “I believe this is a blatant overreach and hope the Supreme Court will recognize the merits of our case.”

The coalition’s friend-of-the-court brief, filed in late September, follows two significant victories – a Supreme Court stay of the Virginia case and another court’s nationwide injunction to halt enforcement of a later-issued, sweeping federal directive concerning access to bathrooms, locker rooms, dormitories, showers and athletic teams.

The coalition argued the U.S. Department of Education sought to single-handedly change its interpretation of the word “sex” from that based on biology to include a person’s self-determined gender identity.

The brief argued upholding such a move would empower other agencies to take similar action, perhaps placing new obligations on states wishing to receive funds for health care, transportation, energy and a host of other areas.

West Virginia signed the brief with attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin, along with the governors of Kentucky and North Carolina.

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