10 more states sue Obama administration over bathroom directive
- Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming say threatening a loss of federal funds over requirements that transgender students use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex tries to rewrite federal civil rights law.
- Reuters reports the states involved in the lawsuit argue neither the Civil Rights Act nor Title IX applies to the rights of transgender individuals, and they asked a judge to block any action from the federal government in enforcing its threat until the case is decided.
- A total of 21 states are now challenging the directive, The Washington Post reports, which means the case will be heard by multiple federal appeals courts.
After the North Carolina legislature passed a law now known as the “bathroom bill,” the Obama administration made its reading of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX clear: Schools that did not allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity were in violation of federal regulations and could lose all federal funding. For most school districts, this would be disastrous.
No school has ever lost its funding based on a civil rights issue. When the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights launches an investigation, districts have always chosen to develop a resolution agreement rather than wait for a finding of wrongdoing and accept the consequences. Depending on the outcome of these lawsuits, states may be able to preclude such a scenario by getting an outside ruling on the limits of the law.
Follow Tara García Mathewson on Twitter