It was a big day for civil rights activists and lawyers around the country on Thursday.
As the U.S. Supreme Court’s civil trial ended on Friday, the Court’s newest member—a Florida judge—joined an effort by civil rights advocates to challenge the constitutionality of a Florida law that requires businesses to allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.
But the judge’s decision could mean more than just a victory for LGBT advocates: It could also signal the end of the civil rights movement, as activists see it.
In the past week, as LGBT activists in states across the country have made gains, courts across the nation have also begun to rule on the constitutionally protected rights of transgender people.
In California, a federal judge ruled that the state’s law requiring transgender people use bathrooms that correspond with their biological sex violates the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA.
In Florida, a judge ruled in favor of a transgender student who sued her school district over the policy.
In Pennsylvania, a district that uses the state law to restrict bathroom access to students who are transgender made a similar ruling.
In California, the state Supreme Court has ruled that transgender students can use the bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity and gender expression, a decision that prompted a federal appeals court to review the state policy.
The decision from U.C. Berkeley law professor Roberta Kaplan, who specializes in the First Amendment, is the latest in a series of landmark rulings by judges across the U