By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
Idaho Chief U.S. District Court Judge David Nye sided with the state on Thursday, allowing a controversial bathroom bill, SB 1100, to go into effect.
The bill mandates K-12 public schools maintain separate restrooms, showers, dressing areas, locker rooms and overnight accommodations for biological girls and biological boys. The school would need to provide accommodation for any student who is unwilling or unable to use the standard facilities.
It passed in 2023 on party-line vote and a lawsuit was filed by Rebecca Roe, her parents Rachel and Ryan Roe, and the Sexuality and Gender Alliance.
The court determined that the plaintiffs did not meet their burden for an injunction and the state did not meet its burden for a dismissal.
“This is a difficult case. Each of the parties before the Court seek to protect important individual rights,” Nye wrote. “The critical question, however, is what happens when individuals’ rights converge and those rights struggle to co-exist?”
Nye wrote that he knows the outcome of cases such as this “are celebrated by some and lamented by others.”
“The present task is particularly difficult considering the communities on both sides of the debate are some of Idaho’s most vulnerable: children and youth,” he wrote. “Although it likely comes as little solace to Idaho’s transgender students who, as a result of the Court’s decision today, may have to change their routines, or who, regrettably, may face other societal hardships, the Court must stay within its lane. Its duty is to interpret the law; it is not a policy-making body. As such, the Court cannot say which approach is best. It can only decide whether the approach chosen by the Idaho Legislature is legal.”
Nye determined that the plaintiffs had not convinced the court that the law is unconstitutional, therefore it will go into effect 21 days after his order was signed.