Parents’ challenge to Maryland school transgender policy denied by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court rejected a case on Monday that involved Maryland parents trying to sue a school district over its policies that promote gender transition among students without parental consent.

The case, John and Jane Parents 1 v. Montgomery County Board of Education, revolved around the question of whether the parents had the legal standing to file the lawsuit. In August, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that three parents in Montgomery County, Maryland did not have standing to contest the policy.

The parents claimed that the district’s 2020-21 gender identity policy allowed for hiding details about a child’s preferred pronouns and gender identity from their parents.

The parents were denied standing by the 4th Circuit in a 2-1 decision. This was because they failed to allege that their children have gender support plans, are transgender, or are struggling with issues of gender identity.

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The Supreme Court dismissed a case on Monday concerning Maryland parents who were seeking to sue a school district over its policies that support gender transition for students without parental consent.

According to Gene Hamilton, executive director of American First Legal, federal judges are “abjectly failing” in cases that question standing. American First Legal filed an amicus brief in the case and has urged the high court to take it up.

According to Fox News Digital, Judge Hamilton expressed his disappointment with federal judges in the United States, stating that they are not fulfilling their primary duty of interpreting the law and resolving disputes between parties.

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According to him, a significant majority of federal judges are relying on misconceptions about “standing” and the intended role of federal courts as envisioned by the founders.

Judges who lack the courage to fulfill their fundamental duty will continue to dismiss righteous cases. Unfortunately, until this changes, we can expect to see more of these dismissals.

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In August 2022, the parents were initially ruled against by U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm for the District of Maryland, an Obama appointee.

“The Guidelines aim to strike a delicate balance between the needs and concerns of parents and students. They acknowledge the importance of parental involvement, but also respect the autonomy of students who may feel apprehensive about sharing their gender identity with their parents due to concerns about lack of support or potential harm,” explained Grimm.

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

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According to Quattlebaum, although the school’s policy objections may be quite compelling, the parents did not claim any personal harm.

Quattlebaum emphasized that policy disagreements should be resolved through the democratic process, where elected officials are held accountable by the voters. He argued that it is not the role of unelected judges to make decisions on policy matters, as that power ultimately lies with the people.

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Kayla Toney, a counsel at First Liberty Institute who has also filed an amicus brief in the case, expressed concern over the attack on parental rights nationwide. She emphasized that policies that hide gender transitions from parents can be particularly detrimental to parents from various faith backgrounds.

“We are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision not to grant certiorari in this case,” she expressed, adding that they will persist in advocating for the rights of religious parents.

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