Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a transgender student from Virginia who is suing his district alleging discrimination. These brief filed by the 18 states and the District of Columbia does not include Minnesota.

The lawsuit is against the Gloucester County School Board after that board created a policy that prevented transgender students from using common school facilities and instead required them to use “alternative private” facilities.

Gavin Grimm, a transgender student in the school district, sued, and now the case is set to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The states who have issued an amicus brief in support of Grimm are New York, Washington, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.

Though the State of Minnesota is missing from the suit, most of Minnesota’s DFL Congressional delegation signed on to a brief led by Sen. Al Franken. In addition, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau and City Attorney Susan Segal have each signed on to separate briefs.

An email to the office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson wasn’t returned as of Monday morning, and Swanson may have missed her chance. On Monday, the Supreme Court vacated an appeal’s court decision meaning the high court is taking a pass on this case.

Swanson was the target of criticism as the U.S. Supreme Court weighed marriage equality in 2014. A petition was launched after Swanson was one of the few Democratic attorneys general not to file in support of marriage equality. More than a year later, Swanson signed on to a brief at the high court.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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