(May 21)  Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was right earlier this month in complaining that his tribunal chooses to hear too few cases, and the court did it again this week in a way that leaves parental rights unprotected.

The Supreme Court denied a certiorari petition in Parents 1 v. Montgomery County Board of Education, in which parents appealed a lower court decision that the parents lacked legal standing to challenge school policy on gender confusion. If litigants lack standing, meaning a genuine, personal stake in the outcome of a real “case” or “controversy,” then courts will dismiss their claim without actually addressing the legal merits of the issues they raise.

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In Parents 1, two supposedly conservative, Trump-appointed judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals outvoted Reagan-appointed Judge Paul Niemeyer in ruling that parents lacked standing to challenge school guidelines, which (in Niemeyer’s concise summary, with his emphases) “invite all students in the Montgomery County public schools to engage in gender transition plans with school Principals without the knowledge and consent of their parents.”

Not even four of the nine justices agreed to consider the baseline question of whether the specific parents who sued actually had standing. If standing were granted, the case could be revived in a lower court, with its central complaints actually examined. The justices’ refusal is odd. The “standing” issue here is important on its own, not to mention that the underlying subject of parents’ rights regarding transgender policies is roiling the culture nationwide. The high court repeatedly has dodged requests for it to rule on numerous questions raised by the transgender trend, which is why its denial of cert here in Parents 1 seems like yet another installment in its discreditable, duck-and-cover routine.

After all, Niemeyer’s dissent on the 4th Circuit made a compelling argument that the particular parents who were litigants do have significant legal standing….. [The full column is here.]

 

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