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Supreme Court won't hear parents' challenge to Maryland school transgender policy

( Fox )

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case involving Maryland parents attempting to sue a school district for its policies that reinforce gender transition of students without their parents’ consent. 

The case, John and Jane Parents 1 v. Montgomery County Board of Education, centered on whether the parents have the proper standing to file the suit. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that three parents in Montgomery County, Maryland, lacked standing to challenge the policy.

The parents had argued that the district’s 2020-21 gender identity policy authorized concealing 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 even struggling with issues of gender identity."

Gene Hamilton, executive director of American First Legal, which filed an amicus brief in the case asking the high court to take it up, said federal judges are "abjectly failing" in cases that question standing. 

"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. 

 "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." 

U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm for the District of Maryland, an Obama appointee, first ruled against the parents in August 2022.

"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.

Kayla Toney, counsel at First Liberty Institute who also filed an amicus brief in the case, said, "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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