A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama Administration’s order requiring public schools to allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their perceived gender.
CNSNews.com is reporting on the ruling issued on Sunday by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor which places a temporary injunction on the Administration’s “guidance” which requires schools to open restrooms to students according to their perceived rather than their biological gender.
The government argued that the federal education law known as Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, is “ambiguous” as to the meaning of the word “sex”, which government lawyers claim could be interpreted to mean a person’s perceived sex.
Judge O’Connor didn’t buy that argument and clearly stated in his ruling that the law isn’t ambiguous about sex being defined as “the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”
Judge O’Connor also chastised federal officials for not following the rules that require an opportunity for comment before such directives are issued. He determined that the administration bypassed the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to allow for this comment period. For this reason, the administration’s contention about the ambiguous nature of the law is not entitled to deference by the courts.
The injunction he issued, which applies nationwide, is based on his belief that the 12 states that sued to block the law had a reasonable chance of success in future arguments and that they would suffer irreparable harm without the court order.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, argued that halting the Obama order before school began was necessary because districts risked losing federal education dollars if they did not comply.
“This president is attempting to rewrite the laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people and is threating to take away federal funding from schools to force them to conform,” Paxton said. “That cannot be allowed to continue, which is why we took action to protect states and school districts.”
The government expressed disappointment in the ruling, saying that they are currently weighing their legal options. If they decide to press the case further, it would be taken up by 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana.
Opponents of the bathroom “guidance” see Judge O’Connor’s ruling as a win for parents and student privacy.
“Judge O’Connor’s opinion is a win for parental rights and the privacy of schoolchildren nationwide, and a win for Texas and twelve other states which sued the administration over its coercive bathroom policy,” said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. “The Obama administration went far beyond the limits of its constitutional and statutory authority to rewrite laws legally adopted by Congress. These federal agencies are attempting to use the bully pulpit to strip parents and local school districts of the right to provide a safe learning environment for their children by forcing them to adopt controversial shower and bathroom policies.
“I encourage parents in every school district in America to demand that their local school boards not sacrifice the privacy and safety of their children because of this administration’s pursuit of political correctness.”
He went on to warn: “If the American people do not speak up now on an issue like this, there’s no limit to what President Obama’s administration, or future liberal presidents, will be emboldened to do.”
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