Vetoed: Louisiana Judge Blocks Biden’s Newest Protections for Trans Student

A federal judge in Louisiana has blocked the Biden administration’s Title IX rules that were meant to create protections for LGBTQ students because these rules overstepped the bounds of federal authority and interfered with state laws.

Impacting Gender Identity

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The ruling specifically impacts policies related to gender identity, such as who is allowed to participate in what sports and use what bathroom in 20 different states.

Judge Atchley

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Judge Charles Atchley, who presides over the Eastern District of Tennessee and was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ultimately made the decision.

Directly Interfering

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After making the ruling, Judge Atchley said the Biden administration’s guidance “directly interferes with and threatens Plaintiff States’ ability to continue enforcing their state laws.” 

Losing Federal Funding

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To further his point, the judge also highlighted the fact that the states face a “credible threat” of losing federal funding if they do not comply with the Title IX guidance.

Leading the Case

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The lawsuit was led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, who was joined by attorney generals from 19 other Republican-led states as his support.

An Overreaching Whitehouse

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The 20 attorney generals argued that the Department of Education’s Title IX guidance was an overreach by the Biden administration and rewrote federal anti-discrimination laws.

Guidance for Trans Students

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The attorney general contended that these new guidance would force schools to use transgender students’ preferred pronouns and give the students access to facilities that match their gender identity.

Illegal Under the First Amendment

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In order to fight these guidances they argued that the forcing schools to recognize and respect student’s preferred gender identities is illegal under the First Amendment and other federal laws.

Overstepping Federal Authority

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Representing the plaintiff states, was Former Tennessee Associate Solicitor General Sarah Campbell, who argued that the Biden administration’s guidance oversteps federal authority.

Hurting State’s Sovereignty

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Campbell said, “States’ sovereign authority to enforce its own legal code was directly injured as a result,” and “That’s not how lawmaking is supposed to work.”

Federal Arguments 

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To combat these claims, the Biden administration argued that their guidance aligns with the Supreme Court’s decision in the case Bostock v. Clayton County.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 

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Bostock v. Clayton County was a landmark 2020 Supreme Court decision regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination “because of sex.” 

Protecting LGBTQ+ Employees

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The Court ruled that firing an individual for being gay or transgender constitutes sex discrimination defined in Title VII and extended protections to LGBTQ+ employees under federal law.

Immediate Effects

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The preliminary injunction will now prevent the Department of Education from enforcing its Title IX guidance and effectively stop these protections for LGBTQ students in the affected states until these legal issues are resolved.

Schools at Risk

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Now, the schools in these states are in a difficult position. They must choose between following their state laws or risking federal penalties.

Highlighting a Dilemma

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In his closing statements, Judge Atchley highlighted this dilemma faced by the states that are suing the federal government and the severe consequences they may be facing.

Choosing Between Hard Options

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Judge Atchley said, “As it currently stands, plaintiffs must choose between the threat of legal consequences — enforcement action, civil penalties, and the withholding of federal funding — or altering their state laws to ensure compliance with the guidance and avoid such adverse action.”

Broader Legal and Social Context

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Unfortunately, this case seems to be part of a broader trend of conservative legal challenges to school policies that protect LGBTQ+ students from harassment and respect their identities. 

Free Speech Cases

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In the majority of these lawsuits targeting protections for LGBTQ+ students, they focus on free speech and claims of religious freedom.

Increasing Legislative Efforts

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Nationwide, there has also been an increase in legislative efforts to limit the rights of LGBTQ+ people, including access to gender-affirming care and participation in sports.

The post Federal Judge Blocks Biden’s Newest Protections for Trans Student first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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