Andrew Adams Wiki – Andrew Adams Biography
A majority of a federal appeals court made up almost entirely of Donald Trump appointees ruled against a transgender activist in a case over school bathroom use. In dissent, there were four designated by Barack Obama. Andrew Adams
The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Florida ruled 7-4 Friday that the St. Johns County School Board did not unlawfully discriminate against transgender student Andrew Adams when it refused to allow him to use the boys’ bathroom at his high school.
Adams, now 20 and a transgender activist, attended Allen D. Nease High School in St. Augustine, Florida. The school maintains an unwritten policy that students must use the restroom that corresponds to their gender, as indicated on enrollment documents, or a gender-neutral single occupancy restroom.
Adams used the school’s men’s restrooms at the start of ninth grade “without incident.” However, after two students complained to officials, the school barred Adams from using the boys’ bathroom because, once enrolled, the district does not accept changes in the gender of students.
After the school refused to change its policy at Adams’ request, Adams sued in federal district court for violation of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. After a three-day bench trial, the district court found in favor of Adams on both counts, awarding him $1,000 in damages and ordering the school board to allow Adams to use the men’s restroom.
However, all seven 11th Circuit judges reversed a ruling that strictly followed party lines.
Andrew Adams High School refused to allow him to use the boys’ bathroom
Trump-appointed Judge Barbara Lagoa said the case concerned the “current, and near-universal, practice of segregating school bathrooms based on biological sex.” The remainder of the seven-member majority on the court was made up of five more Trump appointees (U.S. Circuit Judges Britt Grant, Kevin Newsom, Elizabeth Branch, Robert Luck, and Andrew Brasher) and one George appointee. W. Bush: US Circuit Judge William Pryor. .
The majority ruled that the school’s policy did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution or Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, noting that of the district’s more than 40,000, only sixteen identify as transgender.
In the court’s equal protection analysis, Lagos pointed to the words of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to support the majority’s central premise that because single-sex restrooms are common, they are not unlawfully discriminatory.
Lagos wrote that “Indeed, the universality of [separating bathrooms by gender] is precisely what made Justice Thurgood Marshall’s statement, ‘[a] sign saying ‘men only’, look very different on the door of a bathroom than at the door of a court’, so concise.”
Lagos applied intermediate scrutiny to the school’s gender-based classification and found that the school’s policy was adequately tailored to their needs. She wrote that districts should defer, because “the responsibilities of schools are so great that they can be held accountable for failing to protect students from sexual assault and harassment,” and said that the Adams district has already “done everything possible” to accommodate LGBTQ students.
The primary concern of schools, Lagos said, is the responsibility to protect students’ privacy by “protecting their bodies from the opposite sex.”
The majority of the court said that what is relevant to Adams’ case is not her transgender status as a child. Rather, the opinion said, what matters is whether all students must adhere to the same policy. Citing allegations, the majority said:
The appeals court ruled that the school’s policy does not discriminate against transgender students, because no student, whether transgender or cisgender, may use a restroom that does not correspond to the gender listed on enrollment documents. At most, Lagos admitted, the problem is one of “disparate impact” on transgender students. However, the judge said, the disparate impact alone is not enough to make a neutral policy illegal.
Similarly, the 11th Circuit dispensed with Adams’ Title IX claim, finding that Title IX clearly allows for “exceptions” such as those for same-sex housing and sanitary facilities, and that “sex” unequivocally means ” biological sex”.
In particular coincidence with her own opinion, Lagos wrote that a ruling in Adams’ favor would have a “detrimental” effect on sports.
Pryor’s frustration was evident: “It’s not, and never has been (again, no matter how many times the majority opinion says it) about whether the School District can keep separate toilets for boys and girls.”
On the equal protection claim, Pryor said the policy was discriminatory against transgender students on its face, and that classification based on gender could not survive more intense scrutiny. Pryor also found that the district’s “arbitrary and disorderly” way of enforcing its own policy demonstrates the district’s lack of legitimate interest in the stated goals of the policy.
Furthermore, Pryor wrote, under the law, “sex” includes “gender identity,” which gives Adams protection under Title IX.
Lawyers for the parties did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read More….