A federal judge Friday issued an injunction temporarily blocking Biden administration transgender directives on the grounds that the guidance makes it impossible for some states to enforce their laws around transgender sports participation and restroom access.
The Biden administration guidance would allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity, as well as to participate on athletic teams corresponding to the same.
The order from Judge Charles Atchley Jr., of the Eastern District of Tennessee, is the latest development in a lawsuit brought by 20 Republican state attorneys general last year against the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The attorneys general argue that the administration’s guidance conflict with state laws, putting them in a position to lose federal funding.
The order also comes just weeks after the Education Department unveiled Title IX proposals that would adopt protections for LGBTQ and pregnant students, as well as pregnant employees, into regulation under the 50-year-old civil rights law. The proposals are currently undergoing a public comment period that ends in September, after which the rules will undergo a process to be finalized. The department is planning a separate rulemaking for transgender sports participation.
In March, the administration announced an array of expanded resources to support transgender students.
The Education Department initially issued guidance interpreting Title IX as protecting the rights of transgender students in June 2021, months after President Joe Biden issued executive orders in January and March of that year aimed at halting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.