Opinions / Op-eds

Defending Idaho’s Student Bathroom Privacy Law

I want to bring your attention to another significant win as my office continues to defend Idaho’s new student bathroom privacy law.

This case concerns Senate Bill 1100, a law enacted by the Legislature during the 2023 session to protect students’ privacy in bathrooms and locker rooms. More specifically, Senate Bill 1100 requires that every public-school restroom or changing facility be designated for use by male persons only or female persons only and be used only by members of that sex. “Sex” is defined in the law as biological sex “determined at conception and generally recognizable at birth.” Additionally, the law requires separate sleeping quarters for members of each sex during school events where overnight lodging is shared. The law also provides accommodations for any student uncomfortable with using multi-occupancy public facilities by ensuring the availability of single-occupancy facilities.

Plaintiff Rebecca Roe, and the advocacy group, Sexuality and Gender Alliance, brought this lawsuit against Idaho claiming this law was unconstitutional. They requested a motion for preliminary injunction which would prevent the new law from going into effect. To obtain a preliminary injunction from the court, the plaintiffs were required to prove that they are likely to succeed when the court holds the full trial in which the judge will issue his final ruling on their arguments. On Thursday, October 12, the United States District Court for the District of Idaho denied the motion for a preliminary injunction. 

The Court agreed with our arguments and concluded “the Court is not convinced Plaintiffs can prevail on their equal protection claims.” The Court also held that the Plaintiffs are not likely to prevail on their additional Title IX and privacy claims. 

The Court ordered that the bathroom privacy law go into effect 21 days from the date of the order, on November 2, so that it can immediately start protecting students. The Court explained that 21 days “should provide enough time for school districts to identify and designate restrooms, changing facilities, and overnight accommodations in a manner consistent with S.B. 1100. Once the 21 days have elapsed, S.B. 1100 will be in full force and effect.”

This is a significant win. SB 1100 is a law designed to protect students. Society has separated these intimate facilities for time immemorial, and it is particularly important that the safety and privacy interests of minor students are protected. SB 1100 strikes the necessary balance in protecting those interests for all students.

Next Steps:

This case will also move forward to the full trial. We prepare for the trial with great confidence because of the District Court’s October 12 decision. The judge acknowledged that the full trial is yet to come, but he indicated the likelihood of our success on the merits when he said, “And while [the Court’s] decision today is still not a full adjudication on the merits, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have not shown they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims.”

You can access the ruling here.

As I have said before, I take great pride in the efforts of my team to secure this victory. Thank you for standing with me as we fight together to preserve Idaho from outside special interest groups who aim to challenge our conservative values.

Amazon Holiday Gifts Under $25

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gem State Patriot News