Judge Temporarily Halts Obama’s Transgender Directive

One of the many legal challenges to Obama’s transgender directive to schools across the country just resulted in a temporary halt to the policy’s implementation nationwide while the case is decided.

The lawsuit is a response to a directive the Obama administration issued to schools in May which threatened the loss of federal funds if they did not allow transgender students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and overnight accommodations consistent with their “gender identity.” The Obama administration claimed the authority of Title IX by interpreting the term “sex” to include “gender identity.”

While nearly half of the states are challenging the directive through various lawsuits, this decision was by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in a case involving Kentucky and 12 other states.

Judge O’Connor’s order makes clear that the Department of Education’s interpretation is not entitled to deference because the term “sex” is not ambiguous. The intent of Congress; the common and ordinary meaning of the word; previous Court decisions; and previous Department of Education regulations establish that the term “sex” refers to the “biological differences between male and female students.”

The order goes on to find the Department of Education’s interpretation unpersuasive because it “confuses rather than clarifies” and alters the definition the agency has used since its enactment.

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