CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 23 attorneys general, today filed an amicus brief in Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, in support of Drew Adams, a transgender student who was prohibited from using the boys’ bathroom at his school because of a school board policy. Adams is arguing the school’s policy of prohibiting him from using the bathroom corresponding with his gender identity violated his constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, as well as his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.
“Transgender students have the same rights as other students to receive an education without the fear of discrimination at school,” Raoul said. “I am committed to protecting the rights of transgender students and opposing unconstitutional edicts that discriminate against and exclude them.”
Raoul’s brief – filed in the en banc phase of proceedings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit – supports Adams in his lawsuit against the St. Johns County school board for violating Title IX, as well as the Equal Protection Clause. Adams was prohibited from using the boys’ bathroom at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida, while he was a student. Adams is recognized as male on both his birth certificate and his driver’s license, has undergone gender confirmation surgery, uses the men’s bathroom in other public spaces, and was treated as a male in every way at school except for which bathroom he was allowed to use.
Raoul and the coalition argue that the experiences of the amici states show that policies that are inclusionary of transgender people lead to significant individual and societal benefits without jeopardizing student safety or privacy. This includes policies allowing transgender students to use sex-segregated bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.
Previously in this case, Raoul and the coalition filed an amicus brief in February 2019, in the panel phase of proceedings before the same court, arguing in favor of Adams.
Joining Raoul in filing today’s brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.