Nearly a dozen states filed suit Wednesday afternoon against the Obama administration for its directive to school districts on accommodating transgender student access to bathrooms and locker rooms.
Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin are joining Texas in the federal court lawsuit — the latest salvo in a pitched battle over rights for transgender Americans.
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“It represents just the latest example of the current administration’s attempt to accomplish by executive fiat what they couldn’t accomplish democratically in Congress,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told reporters Wednesday during a news conference in Austin, adding that more parties could join in on the suit. “Texas will continue to stand up to President Obama and his agencies whenever and wherever they attempt to circumvent the rule of law and ignore the voice of the people.”
The Justice and Education departments sent a letter to school districts across the country earlier this month notifying them that transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity. While the move lacks force of law, the guidance declares sweeping protections for transgender students under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities, as well as Title VII, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace.