Idaho Court Temporarily Blocks Restroom Ban in Time for New School Year

A U.S. District Court has temporarily blocked enforcement of an Idaho school facilities law that singles out transgender students for discriminatory treatment.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho granted a request for a temporary restraining order against the law, Senate Bill 1100, in a lawsuit brought on behalf of a rising seventh-grade transgender student and Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), an LGBTQ high school student organization. The temporary restraining order stops the government from enforcing the law until the court can rule on Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, set to be argued next month.

As of July 1, 2023, the law imposed a sweeping statewide mandate, governing all public and charter schools K-12, that schools must exclude transgender students from multi-user restrooms and other school facilities matching their gender identity, based on a legislative definition of “sex” as limited to chromosomes and reproductive anatomy. The law also allows students to recover a minimum of $5,000 per violation if they encounter a transgender person using a facility barred by the law. Today’s order prevents schools from being forced to follow a statewide mandate to exclude transgender students from facilities matching their gender identity, pending further ruling from the court.

“The court’s ruling will be a relief for transgender students in Idaho, who are entitled to basic dignity, safety, and respect at school. When school is back in session, they should be focusing on classes, friends, and activities like everyone else, rather than worrying about where they are allowed to use the restroom,” said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Peter Renn. “No one’s return to school should be met with a return to discrimination.”

“The lives and wellbeing of our transgender youth in Idaho are at stake, and we are relieved that the court has put this abhorrent law on hold,” Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Kell Olson added.  “Transgender youth are deserving of the privacy, respect, and protections afforded to other students.”

The lawsuit, Roe v. Critchfield, was brought by Lambda Legal, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, and Alturas Law Group, PLLC. The complaint charges that S.B. 1100 violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, by discriminating on the basis of sex and transgender status, and by outing students as transgender.

Know Your Rights about Bathrooms and Locker Rooms.

The temporary restraining order can be found here.