20 States Sue Over Title IX Guidance on Gender Identity
States sue the Department of Education and EEOC. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972—which says schools can’t discriminate “on the basis of sex”—has long been a battleground, as federal authorities continually expand the definition of just what discrimination on the basis of sex means. At stake is whether the federal government can get involved in and have the final say over a huge range of affairs at U.S. schools and universities, from sports teams to sexual assault investigations to which bathrooms students can use.
The Biden administration has interpreted Title IX’s anti-discrimination provision to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. An executive order Biden issued his first day in office stated as much (building on Obama-era guidance). And in March, the Department of Justice issued a memo also stating that Title IX “prohibit[s] discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.”
In response, the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance on federal anti-discrimination law.
It goes “far beyond what the statutory text, regulatory requirements, judicial precedent, and the Constitution permit,” argue attorneys general from 20 states in a new lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on August 30.
The Department of Education said it “will fully enforce Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in education programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the Department” and that the Office of Civil Rights “will open an investigation of allegations that an individual has been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in education programs or activities.”
At the heart of the lawsuit are attempts by GOP-dominated state legislatures to ban transgender students from using bathrooms or playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. A number of federal courts have already blocked such bills applied to schools.
The lawsuit also objects to EEOC technical guidance stating that employers must allow trans employees to use showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
States party to the suit include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Their complaint alleges that the Education Department’s interpretation of Title IX is “contrary to law because, properly interpreted, Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ does not encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity” and “Title IX and longstanding Department regulations expressly permit distinctions based on biological sex in certain circumstances. ”
The interpretations “are so removed from any reasonable reading of Title IX that they amount to an unconstitutional exercise of legislative power,” their suit argues. It also alleges that the new EEOC guidance wasn’t subject to proper rule making procedure and that it violates the 10th Amendment.
You can read the full complaint here.
No last-minute intervention from SCOTUS before Texas abortion law takes effect. With no word yet from the U.S. Supreme Court, an abortion ban in Texas takes effect today. The American Civil Liberties Union and abortion providers had asked the Court to intervene and block the new law, which bans abortion around six weeks and lets people sue anyone who provides or aids and abets the provision of an abortion.
There is a report circulating that a state court judge blocked the law.https://t.co/F
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