Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Water…

The Third Circuit has updated its decision on transgender bathroom policies, which we discussed previously here. The precedential opinion, which was filed on June 18, was revised on July 26 to take a softer stance on whether the decision to require transgender students to use separate, single-stall bathrooms violates federal law. The same panel that issued the original decision issued the revised decision and denied allowing the case to be reheard with a full court. The attorneys for the students have two weeks to renew their request. The attorneys argue that the first ruling—among other things—conflated gender and sex, and ignored long-standing precedent regarding sexual harassment and bodily privacy. This case is a contentious one, with Circuit Judge Kent A. Jordan, joined by Judges Michael Chagares, Thomas Hardiman, and Stephanos Bibas, writing a strongly worded dissent recommending that the Third Circuit rehear the case en banc, meaning that every judge sitting on the appellate court would be asked to hear and rule on the matter.  We will monitor the situation and keep you apprised of any updates to this case.