The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of an Indiana school that wants to keep bathrooms separate for boys and girls.
The Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, Indiana asked the Supreme Court to uphold its ban on transgender bathrooms.
However, the court sidestepped the issue in a brief order on Tuesday.
Lower courts had previously blocked the school from separating its bathrooms by gender.
When the school tried to separate the bathrooms, the family of a former student filed a lawsuit.
The courts cited the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX, the Democrats’s radical law that bars discrimination in education on the basis of sex.
The Indiana case was brought by the mother of a female former middle school student who “identifies as male.”
The Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the transgender student and two others who joined the case “appear to be boys in the eyes of the State of Indiana.”
The transgender students claim to be “male” because they changed their legal names and birth certificates.
“It would be contrary to Indiana law for the school districts to treat [them] as though they are not boys and to require them to use the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms,” the court wrote.
At the time, the appeals court predicted that the Supreme Court “will step in with more guidance than it has furnished so far.”
But the Supreme Court has been generally reluctant to wade into the bathroom issue.
The issue has become a culture war in states across the country.
A handful of states have passed laws banning gender-neutral bathrooms in schools.
Lawyers for the Indiana school asked the Supreme Court to “preserve the autonomy of school boards to make decisions.”
Indiana’s Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita criticized the Supreme Court for ducking an opportunity to resolve the issue, which has divided federal appeals courts.
“It makes little sense for SCOTUS not to resolve the difference in federal cases -— but because of this split — children in other parts of this country will be properly protected,” his office told the New York Post.
“Unfortunately for now, our schools will be forced to allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom they feel corresponds to the gender identity they’ve picked to use on that day.”
In 2020, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority controversially ruled that civil rights protections in the workplace apply to sexual orientation and “gender identity.”