Federal judge blocks Biden admin’s woke directive on transgender bathrooms, athletes, locker rooms

The Biden administration can not step on states’ rights and decree that transgender workers and students and athletes can join sports teams and use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with the gender they wish they were rather than their biological gender.

This is the recent ruling of Judge Charles Atchley Jr. in the Eastern District of Tennessee, who, according to Reuters, temporarily blocked on Friday directives issued by the Department of Justice, the Department of Education (DOE), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, after denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss.

A lawsuit against the federal government was brought last year by a coalition of 20 Republican attorneys general who argued that the Biden administration’s directives conflicted with their state’s laws and it could result in the loss of significant federal funding.

In his order, Atchley backed the coalition, writing that the states “cannot continue regulating pursuant to their state laws while simultaneously complying with Defendants’ guidance.”

 

At the heart of the case is a 2020 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the court ruled that anti-discrimination protections are extended to transgender workers and employers may not fire them based on their gender identity or sexuality.

However, the justices “expressly declined to decide if the ruling applied to sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms,” Reuters reports.

Specifically, the Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barring sex discrimination in the workplace included discrimination based sexual orientation and gender identity.

Title IX of the Civil Rights Act prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs.

Because the language in Title IX was derived from the language used in Title VII, the Department of Education decided the Bostock ruling applied to schools when it issued its guidance last year.

In other words, argued the DOE, if you don’t let a guy change into a cheerleading skirt in the girl’s locker room before they try out for the girl’s team, you’re violating Title VII, even though the justices very clearly stated exactly the opposite was true.

In his ruling, Judge Atchley struck down the argument, writing, that the Supreme Court in Bostock “explicitly refused to decide whether ‘sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes’ violate Title VII.”

According to one of the 20 plaintiffs in the coalition, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor, Atchley’s order “is a major victory for women’s sports and for the privacy and safety of girls and women in their school bathrooms and locker rooms.”

Last month, the DOE celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX with a list of proposed regulations that “will advance Title IX’s goal of ensuring that no person experiences sex discrimination, sex-based harassment, or sexual violence in education.”

 

According to the press release, the proposed regulations would:

  • Clearly protect students and employees from all forms of sex discrimination.
  • Provide full protection from sex-based harassment.
  • Protect the right of parents and guardians to support their elementary and secondary school children.
  • Require schools to take prompt and effective action to end any sex discrimination in their education programs or activities – and to prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.
  • Protect students and employees who are pregnant or have pregnancy-related conditions.
  • Require schools to respond promptly to all complaints of sex discrimination with a fair and reliable process that includes trained, unbiased decisionmakers to evaluate the evidence.
  • Require schools to provide supportive measures to students and employees affected by conduct that may constitute sex discrimination, including students who have brought complaints or been accused of sex-based harassment.
  • Protect LGBTQI+ students from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.
  • Clarify and confirm protection from retaliation for students, employees, and others who exercise their Title IX rights.
  • Improve the adaptability of the regulations’ grievance procedure requirements so that all recipients can implement Title IX’s promise of nondiscrimination fully and fairly in their educational environments.
  • Ensure that schools share their nondiscrimination policies with all students, employees, and other participants in their education programs or activities.

Additionally, the DOE vowed to ” engage in a separate rulemaking to address Title IX’s application to athletics.”

“Over the last 50 years, Title IX has paved the way for millions of girls and women to access equal opportunity in our nation’s schools and has been instrumental in combating sexual assault and sexual violence in educational settings,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this landmark law, our proposed changes will allow us to continue that progress and ensure all our nation’s students – no matter where they live, who they are, or whom they love – can learn, grow, and thrive in school. We welcome public comment on these critical regulations so we can further the Biden-Harris Administration’s mission of creating educational environments free from sex discrimination and sexual violence.”

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