The Washington Flyer
November 4, 2016
“Sir, when is the Time for brave Men to exert themselves in the Cause of Liberty and their Country, if this is not? Should any Difficulties that they may have to encounter at this important Crisis deter them? God knows there is not a Difficulty that you both (very justly) complain of that I have not in an eminent Degree experienced; that I am not every Day experiencing, but we must bear up against them, and make the best of Mankind as they are, since we cannot have them as we wish.”
Gen. George Washington
(in a letter to General Schuyler on his complaints during the early dark days of the War for Independence)
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Supreme Court to Hear Transgender Case
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., which will address the Obama transgender mandate. Last spring, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) issued a guidance letter which reinterpreted federal law and instructed all public schools to implement a policy that allows students to use the bathroom or locker room or overnight accommodations of their chosen gender identity, regardless of any concerns from parents or other students, and strongly implied that federal funding could be tied to schools’ compliance with the new policy. The administration used Title IX, the education law that prohibits sex discrimination, as the basis for the new nondiscrimination policy, claiming the term sex included gender identity. The guidance letter sparked a fury of controversy, with parents expressing concern over their children’s safety and state leaders charging the administration overstepped its authority. Several lawsuits have been filed, challenging various aspects of the mandate. In August, a federal judge in Texas blocked the mandate from moving forward nationwide with a ruling that the administration had overstepped its authority when making such a substantive rule without going through the proper Congressional channels. The administration has filed an appeal to that decision in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Gloucester County case now before the Supreme Court involves a transgender student, Gavin Grimm, who sued her county school board for prohibiting her from using the boys’ bathrooms and other sex-segregated school facilities. The lawsuit charges that Gloucester County school board in Virginia is violating Title IX; however, the school board contends that the federal statute was not written to include gender identity in its definition of sex. A district court ruled in favor of the school; then the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision, ruling in favor of Grimm. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court granted a stay in the case, allowing the school board temporarily to prohibit Grimm from using the boys’ facilities while the case is ongoing. In taking up the case, the Supreme Court will decide on two issues: whether or not the DOE’s new interpretation of “sex discrimination” will stand and whether or not the guidance letter, which established the mandate but does not carry the force of law, falls under “Auer deference” (a legal doctrine which requires courts to follow a department’s interpretation of a rule or regulation). A date for oral arguments has not been scheduled. Court pundits have noted that the vacancy of Justice Scalia’s seat has made the Court somewhat reluctant to take on many contentious cases, so it is possible they will wait until Scalia’s seat has been filled before scheduling oral arguments.