Federal judge halts Biden's Title IX changes
A federal judge in Tennessee temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s new Title IX proposal that would extend protection to transgender students.
The proposal, first leaked in April, has received immense backlash from state attorneys general.
Charles Atchley Jr., a federal judge in Tennessee, is pausing the Department of Education’s (DOEd) new Title IX regulations after 20 state attorneys general file a lawsuit against the Department, alleging that the new rules violate states' rights.
New Title IX regulations were published by the DOEd on June 23, marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark regulation, which prohibits federally funded institutions from discriminating on the basis of sex.
The June 23 updates expand the scope of Title IX to include gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Department...proposes that the current regulations should be amended to provide greater clarity regarding the scope of sex discrimination, including recipients’ obligations not to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” the unofficial draft of the updates reads.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in an official press release that Biden’s DOEd is putting states in an “impossible situation.”
“Our state passed a new law called the Save Women’s Sports Act and if we followed state law we would face legal consequences, including the threat of losing federal funding,” Wilson said.
“The federal government cannot hold South Carolina hostage for passing its common sense laws and for not following the federal government’s nonsensical policies.”
Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor told Campus Reform that the administration went “too far” in its Title IX interpretation and accused the executive branch of overstepping its boundaries to “enjoin sovereign states from enforcing their own laws.”
“We look forward to continuing this litigation and ensuring that the law-making authority remains with Congress and not unelected federal bureaucrats,” Taylor said.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry concurred that the Biden administration infringed on state rights to “redefine sex,” and was quoted in an email to Campus Reform as saying he was “proud to have helped thwart yet another of Joe Biden’s radical overreaches.”
In his injunction, Judge Atchley emphasized that the new Title IX proposal "directly interferes with and threatens Plaintiff States’ ability to continue enforcing their state laws."
Due to Judge Atchley’s ruling, states are free to bar biological men from competing in women’s athletics.
The DOEd requested the lawsuit be dismissed, but Atchley denied the request.
Atchley wrote in the injunction, “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."
A DOEd Spokesperson provided Campus Reform with the following statement:
“We are disappointed in this decision, but we remain committed to protecting students and school communities from discrimination and will continue to do so to deliver on the promise of Title IX. The Department of Justice will continue to litigate this matter on our behalf.”
Campus Reform contacted each state AG and the DOEd for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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