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Judge allows transgender suit to proceed

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A transgender former high school student who was barred from his senior prom in Gary because he was wearing a pink dress for the occasion will have his day in court.

U.S. District Judge Joe Van Bokkelen issued a 10-page order late Thursday that denied the school corporation's motion to dismiss the case of Kevin Logan v. Gary Community School Corp., et al., No. 2:07-CV-431.

The case involves a prom dress-code incident in May 2006, where a school principal blocked Logan - who goes by "K.K." - from entering the school event because of what he was wearing, even though a female student wearing a tuxedo was allowed to enter.

While in school, Logan was known to wear clothes typically associated with girls his age. But the principal cited a school policy for the entry denial, and Logan eventually filed suit in the Northern District.

The northern Indiana school district filed a motion to dismiss in February, arguing the court didn't have jurisdiction to hear Logan's case on the grounds that federal law doesn't dictate local school dress codes, especially when constitutional rights haven't been violated.

But in his ruling, Judge Van Bokkelen is clear the federal court has jurisdiction in rejecting each of the school's arguments: that the separation of powers doctrine doesn't preclude his court from hearing the case; that the issue isn't moot despite Logan's status as a former student because it's a facial challenge to a rule under the First Amendment; and that the school officials aren't immune under the 11th Amendment because they aren't arms of the state.

Judge Van Bokkelen found that the First Amendment issues and the Title IX claims on why Logan was excluded from the prom - because of sexual orientation or dress code - need further development and it would be premature to dismiss the case now. He explicitly rejected the school's argument that "it is high time the Federal Court" stopped interfering with school administration, citing caselaw that shows federal courts do have the authority to review school decisions even though they often defer to local school leaders in establishing policy.

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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