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By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide within weeks whether to hear a major transgender rights case for the first time, a dispute involving which bathroom a Virginia high school student can use, but the justices have reasons to duck the issue. The local school board is asking the justices to hear its appeal of an April 19 ruling by the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found that transgender students are protected under U.S. laws that bar sex-based discrimination. If the high court refuses to hear the case, the justices would leave in place the groundbreaking appeals court ruling in favor of transgender rights that Grimm could use the bathroom of the student's choice.