A Wisconsin federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on July 6, 2023, requiring the Mukwonago Area School District (MASD) to permit an 11 year-old transgender girl to use the girls’ restrooms at her summer school program. (The girl’s name is being withheld to protect her privacy.) This order confirms that transgender students have the right to use school facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Relman Colfax sought emergency relief on June 30 after school officials prohibited the girl from using the girls’ restroom. The lawsuit alleges that this violated her rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause. Judge Lynn Adelman agreed that she is likely to prevail under precedent in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit established in 2017 in a case called Whitaker brought by Relman Colfax against the school district of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The order bars MASD—located about 30 miles from Milwaukee—from enforcing any policy or practice that would deny the student access to girls’ restrooms and from taking any disciplinary action against her for using girls’ restrooms. The court recognized that barring access to the girls’ restrooms causes irreparable harm. The court’s order indicates that a separate, more detailed opinion on a motion for preliminary injunction is forthcoming.  

The Relman Colfax litigation team includes Alexa Milton, Glenn Schlactus, Gemma Donofrio, Emily Curran, and Nick Abbott, with paralegal assistance from Emma Block and Kelis Johnson. Victoria Davis Dávila and Robert “Rock” Theine Pledl from Davis & Pledl, S.C., serve as co-counsel on the case.

The complaint, emergency briefing, and order are available here.

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