Sunday, January 23, 2022


Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.


President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.


Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Court Victory for Transgender Students


Wednesday, May 29, 2019   

WASHINGTON - A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is being hailed as a victory for transgender students in Pennsylvania and nationwide.

The nation's highest court on Tuesday said it won't hear the appeal of a case that upheld the Boyertown Area School District's policy of allowing transgender students to use restrooms that match their gender. The 2016 policy was challenged by a group of students who claimed the presence of transgender students in restrooms and locker rooms is a form of sexual harassment. That argument was rejected by a federal District Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mary Catherine Roper, deputy legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said the Supreme Court's decision allows that ruling to stand.

"What this means is that school districts do have the legal ability to protect transgender student rights," she said, "and we think, although it wasn't an issue in this case, they have the obligation to do that."

The appeals court said excluding transgender students from facilities other students use would increase the stigma and discrimination that transgender students already face.

Roper noted that allowing the appeals court ruling to stand should have important implications for other cases around the country in which the equal rights of transgender people are being challenged.

"The important principle from this case is that it doesn't hurt a cisgender person when you allow a transgender person to live according to their identity," she said.

Efforts to roll back transgender rights on the federal level also are being challenged.

The Trump administration wants to ban transgender people from military service, allow doctors to refuse to treat transgender patients, and allow discrimination in homeless shelters. Roper said Tuesday's Supreme Court decision sends a powerful message.

"Whatever the Trump administration says about federal policy," she said, "they can't stop a school district from doing the right thing."

She added that because the district court ruling was based on a preliminary record, the plaintiffs still can go back to that court and ask for a full trial.

More information is online at

Disclosure: ACLU of Pennsylvania contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Immigrant Issues, LGBTQIA Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …

Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)


As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, and groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021