Twenty US states have filed suit against the Biden administration after the Department of Education (DOE) ruled that schools allowed biological males to participate in girls’ school sports.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.
The lawsuit also turns to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for advice on LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace.
Slatery and the other 19 attorneys general are asking a judge to allow schools to segregate showers, locker rooms and bathrooms on the basis of “biological sex” and to exempt schools from using transgender people’s favorite pronouns. The same is asked for the pitches.
They also want schools to have the freedom to segregate school sports teams by “biological sex” and for workplaces to enforce dress codes based on that.
“All of this, along with the threat of withholding education funding amid a pandemic, justifies this lawsuit,” Slatery argued in a statement.
The lawsuit was filed by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, who released a statement calling the DOE and EEOC guidelines for transgender students and employees “new, expanded and illegal interpretations of federal anti-discrimination laws.”
The lawsuit states that the DOE and EEOC “have no authority to resolve those sensitive questions, let alone do so with executive approval without providing any opportunity for public participation.”
Under the Biden administration, federal agencies have dramatically expanded protections for transgender Americans
It claims the two agencies are “ignoring procedural requirements in their haste to exceed”.
“This case involves two federal agencies changing the law, which is the exclusive prerogative of Congress,” Slatery wrote in the statement. “The authorities simply don’t have that authority. But that doesn’t stop them from trying.’
Under President Joe Biden, the DOE announced in June that discrimination based on a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity will be considered a violation of Title IX, a federal law protecting against gender-based discrimination in education.
Schools that violate Title IX risk losing or delaying their federal funding.
It based its logic on Bostock v. Clayton County, a landmark Supreme Court ruling that ruled in June 2020 that gender-based workplace protection under Title VII also extends to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
A DOE legal analysis concluded that there is “no convincing or substantiated basis” for treating education differently from work.
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut Girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven , Connecticut in February 2019
Also in June, the EEOC issued guidelines on what constitutes discrimination against LGBTQ people and advised the public on how to file a complaint.
But the lawsuit argues that these issues are “highly controversial and local issues” and argues that the agencies’ mandates violate the 10th Amendment which gives powers not explicitly delegated to states from the federal government.
Slatery accused the Biden administration of misinterpreting Bostock v. Clayton County’by claiming that the prohibition of discrimination applies to locker rooms, showers and bathrooms under Title IX and Title VII and biological men who identify as women who participate in women’s sports, when the Supreme Court specifically said it did not decide on those issues in Bostock.’
Joining Tennessee in the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
All but three are Republican-led states.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona (left) and Attorney General Merrick Garland (right) were named as defendants in the 20-state lawsuit
The governors of Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia have all passed measures specifically banning transgender girls from participating in girls’ school sports teams
In Kansas, Democratic Governor Laura Kelly vetoed a GOP bill banning transgender girls from participating in school sports.
A number of top Biden officials are named as defendants in the lawsuit, including Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The federal government’s guidelines for transgender students come after numerous governors signed bills to ban transgender people from participating in sports teams that are not for their biological gender.
The governors of Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia have all passed measures specifically banning transgender girls from participating in girls’ school sports teams.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a blanket ban on transgender students participating in school sports until grade 12.