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Supreme Court Rejects Parental Challenge To School Trans Policy In Maryland

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge from parents regarding a Maryland school district’s official policy regarding transgender students. A group sued the school after officials there implemented a policy that supported the gender transition of students without notifying parents.

The case, John and Jane Parents 1 v. Montgomery County Board of Education, focused on whether the parents had the proper standing to file the lawsuit. In August, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that three parents from Montgomery County, Maryland, did not have standing to challenge the policy.

The parents argued that the district’s 2020–21 gender identity policy allowed for withholding information about a child’s preferred pronouns and gender identity from parents.

The 4th Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, denied the parents standing because they did “not allege that their children have gender support plans, are transgender or are even struggling with issues of gender identity.”

Gene Hamilton, executive director of America First Legal, which submitted an amicus brief in the case urging the Supreme Court to hear it, criticized federal judges for their handling of cases involving questions of standing, stating that they are “abjectly failing.”

“Federal judges across the United States are abjectly failing to do precisely what they should do: declare what the law is and adjudicate cases and controversies between specific parties with specific claims,” Hamilton told Fox News Digital.

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“An overwhelming number of federal judges are hiding behind false understandings of ‘standing’ and the role of federal courts as properly understood by the founders,” he said. “Until that changes, sadly, we are going to see more righteous cases dismissed by judges who lack the courage to do their fundamental duty.”

In August 2022, U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm, appointed by President Obama and serving in the District of Maryland, initially ruled against the parents.

“The Guidelines carefully balance the interests of both the parents and students, encouraging parental input when the student consents, but avoiding it when the student expresses concern that parents would not be supportive, or that disclosing their gender identity to their parents may put them in harm’s way,” Grimm wrote.

In August, a three-judge panel on the 4th Circuit upheld the lower court ruling, with Circuit Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum, a Trump appointee, writing the 2-1 opinion.

Quattlebaum wrote that while objections to the school’s policy might “be quite persuasive,” the parents failed to “allege any injury to themselves.”

“Policy disagreements should be addressed to elected policymakers at the ballot box, not to unelected judges in the courthouse,” Quattlebaum said, Fox News reported.

Kayla Toney, counsel at First Liberty Institute also filed an amicus brief in the case, saying, “Parental rights are under attack across the nation, and policies that keep gender transitions secret from parents are especially harmful to parents from many different faith backgrounds.”

“That is why we are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not grant certiorari in this case, and we will continue to advocate for religious parents,” she said.

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When authorities seize cars and other property used in drug crimes, even when the property belongs to so-called innocent owners, they are not required to hold a prompt hearing, a divided US. Supreme Court ruled earlier this month.

The justices voted 6-3 to reject the claims of two Alabama women who had to wait more than a year for the return of their cars. Police confiscated the vehicles after pulling over others who were driving them and discovering illegal drugs, the Associated Press reported.

Civil forfeiture allows authorities to confiscate property without proving it was used in illegal activities. Critics describe the practice as “legalized theft.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissent for the liberal members of the court that since police departments frequently have a financial incentive to retain the property, civil forfeiture is “vulnerable to abuse.”

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