cumberland law review

photo of gender bathroom symbols

Adams ex rel. Kasper v. School Board of St. Johns County: Restricting Transgender High School Students’ Restroom Access Violates the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX

Mitchell Brisbon*

Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/N7C9-SSZX

In Adams ex rel. Kasper v. School Board of St. Johns County, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit considered a challenge to a Florida high school’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. The plaintiff, a transgender male, challenged the policy under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. The court affirmed the district court’s judgment on both grounds, with one judge dissenting, holding that the School Board’s policy violated both the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination in education. Although not specifically decided, the case tees up a potential challenge to sex-separated bathrooms.

picture showing people submitting voter ballots

Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Secretary of State for the State of Alabama: Eleventh Circuit Finds Alabama Voter Identification Law Constitutional

Kaylee Rose*

Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/VSU6-3J93

In Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Secretary of State for the State of Alabama, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed the constitutionality of an Alabama law that governs “‘one of the most fundamental rights of our citizens: the right to vote.’” The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling that Alabama’s 2011 Photo Voter Identification Law is constitutional and not racially discriminatory. Circuit Judge Elizabeth L. Branch, writing for the majority, found that “[t]he burden of providing a photo ID pursuant to Ala. Code § 17-9-30 in order to vote is a minimal burden on Alabama’s voters—especially when Alabama accepts so many different forms of photo ID and makes acquiring one simple and free for voters who lack a valid ID but wish to obtain one.”