Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has issued a nationwide injunction barring any federal government agencies from taking action against any school districts that does not follow Obama or his administration’s instructions on the transgender bathroom policies in schools.
The reason why the judge granted the preliminary injunction that was sought by Texas and several other states that are challenging the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in schools, colleges and universities. Of course the Obama administration would interpret Title IX to say it includes discrimination based on gender identity.
The ruling was issued late Sunday night right before many students across the state of Texas and other states began the school year. Supporters for the LGBT rights movement says that the administration’s intervention was necessary to ensure that all transgender students are able to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
How this injection came about was last May the Obama administration issued guidance instructing public schools that under its interpretation of Title IX, “schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status.” It was also stated by the Obama administration that the Department of Education and the Department of Justice should “treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of the law.”
Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated at the time “There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex.”
In his written summary Judge O’Conner wrote:
“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school.”
He also stated that he granted the preliminary injunction in part because Title IX’s text “is not ambiguous.” Judge O’Connor also stated that the law “specifically permits educational institutions to provide separate toilets, locker rooms, and showers based on sex, provided that the separate facilities are comparable.”
Leading the way in the fight against Obama’s administration was Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton by praising the ruling on Sunday released a statement.
“We are pleased that the court ruled against the Obama administration’s latest illegal federal overreach. This President is attempting to rewrite the laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people, and is threatening to take away federal funding from schools to force them to conform. That cannot be allowed to continue, which is why we took action to protect States and School Districts, who are charged under state law to establish a safe and disciplined environment conducive to student learning.”
But the ruling did not come without its opposition which is to be expected in such a high profile case. The usual suspect came forward with their comments about this being a travesty to the LGBT community, which was not surprising in the day and time we are living in. The comments were started by the Justice Department when their spokesman Dena Iverson stated that the agency is looking at the ruling. “The department is disappointed in the court’s decision, and we are reviewing our options.”
The comments of The Justice Department were followed by comments from civil rights groups that include the following Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights where they issued a joint statement calling the ruling “unfortunate.” In the joint statement the group stated the following:
“A ruling by a single judge in one circuit cannot and does not undo the years of clear legal precedent nationwide establishing that transgender students have the right to go to school without being singled out for discrimination.”
The Obama administration is expected to file an appeal soon.