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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the Missouri-based College of the Ozarks’ case against the Biden administration imposing a slate of new requirements on the Christian school to recognize and accommodate the “gender identity” of gender-dysphoric students, although attorneys representing the school remain hopeful the nation’s highest court will get to its underlying constitutional questions.

One of President Joe Biden’s earliest acts was signing an executive order declaring the “policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” It cites the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bostock decision claiming that federal law’s prohibition on discrimination “because of … sex” extends to “discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

In April 2021, the College of the Ozarks filed a lawsuit to prevent itself from being forced to change its longstanding policy of separating male and female students in intimate facilities such as dormitories, arguing that Biden’s executive order contradicts the long-settled understanding of “sex” as biological under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). 

“Occupancy and access in the college’s residence halls are separated by biological sex, not identity, and that residence in student housing depends on compliance with the student code of conduct, including the commitment to avoid all sexual relations outside of a marriage between one man and one woman,” says the suit. But the White House’s edict “requires private religious colleges to place biological males into female dormitories and assign them as females’ roommates.”

After failing to secure relief in lower federal courts, the case was finally appealed to the Supreme Court. But the Hill reports that on Tuesday, the Court refused to hear the case on the grounds that the college lacked standing because it had not yet demonstrated injury, ignoring warnings from the college’s attorneys that if the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) “gets away with rewriting the FHA via the Directive, it has no incentive to ever go through the rule-making process. That eliminates judicial review until after an enforcement proceeding is complete and the regulated entity has already been harmed.”

“College of the Ozarks brought this challenge for one reason: The Biden administration was attempting to force them to open their dormitories to members of the opposite sex,” responded Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Julie Marie Blake, USA Today reports. “Though the high court chose not to review this case, we are hopeful it will soon take up related cases….College of the Ozarks will continue to follow its beliefs.”

The order was unsigned, but because it only takes four votes for the Supreme Court to agree to hear a case, the rejection means that at least two of the purportedly-five “conservative” justices must have voted with the Court’s liberals in turning it away, underscoring persistent concerns about the consistency of the Court’s Republican-appointed majority, which has delivered major conservative victories on abortion, gun rights, and environmental regulations but also acquiesced to liberals on cases pertaining to state COVID-19 mandates, religious liberty, and LGBT accommodation.