President Obama’s recent transgender bathroom policy, requiring public schools to allow students to use the bathrooms of their choice, was temporarily blocked by a Texas judge late on Sunday.
The judge’s reasoning for blocking the policy is based on the fact that the Obama administration didn’t go through “proper procedures for notice and comment in issuing the guidelines,” and that the policy contradicts existing legislative and regulatory texts.
The judge added that “Although Defendants have characterized the Guidelines as interpretive, post-guidance events and their actual legal effect prove that they are ‘compulsory in nature.’”
The ruling gave a nationwide injunction sought by 13 states, including Texas, who led the suit. The states in the suit are Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Maine, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky. Ten other states have their own individual suits against the Obama Administration policy.
The transgender policy, issued by the Justice Department and Education Department, would require public schools to “allow transgender students to use bathrooms, locker rooms and other intimate facilities that correspond with their gender identity, as opposed to their birth gender, or face the loss of federal funds.”
Texas lawyers, at the hearing on August 12, said the policy would usurp the authority of public schools nationwide, as well as put them at risk of losing federal funding if they failed to comply.
However, the Obama administration didn’t explicitly threaten public schools with cutting funding if they failed to comply. But in court documents, the administration did mention that recipients of federal funding “are clearly on notice” that the policies should be followed.
Whether this ruling gets overturned by federal courts is to be seen, but the ruling is a win for Republicans who have been fighting transgender bathroom legislation since North Carolina enacted legislation forcing transgenders to use the bathroom of their assigned gender at birth.
Supporters of allowing transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice say Republican policies are discriminatory. Republicans, on the other hand, claim say it’s basic public safety for children and women. They’re worried about predators using the new law to prey on women and children in bathrooms.