Federal court issues injunction against USDOE transgender policy
A federal district court in Texas has issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the U.S. Department of Education from proceeding with enforcement of the policy it announced on May 13 of this year, as reported here, concerning the rights of transgender students. The ruling was sought by the plaintiffs in the case, which include the states of Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, and Mississippi, in addition to representatives of several other states or state agencies. In its opinion, the court found that the guidance, which was issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice, failed to meet certain rule-making requirements and was otherwise unsupported by the wording of Title IX. The court found that it had proper jurisdiction of the case and, furthermore, that the injunction should be nationwide in scope.
School leaders are cautioned that as a preliminary injunction, the ruling in this case is temporary in nature, and could itself be subject to a stay order upon appeal. It should also be noted that while the order issued in this case may temporarily restrict enforcement actions by the federal government, it does not prevent private lawsuits on behalf of transgender students, which may continue to be pursued under Title IX.