Search form

Federal Judge Rules Transgender Guidance Did Not Follow Proper Legal Procedure

Federal Judges Rules Obama Administration’s Transgender Guidance Did Not Follow Proper Legal Procedure

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor handed a ruling down yesterday that will greatly affect how transgender students go back-to-school this school year.

O’Connor ruled that the guidance administered by the Obama Administration in May, which required all schools to allow transgender students to use preferred facilities rather gender-dictated ones, did not follow proper legal procedures; the Department of Education can therefore not withhold funding for states that refuse to oblige.

The lawsuit, waged by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, was joined by 13 states following immediate outrage against what they have been calling illegal federal overreach.

O’Connor made it clear in his ruling this he is not ruling on whether trans students are protected against discrimination in existing federal law, but rather is ruling on how "the Constitution assigns these policy choices to the appropriate elected and appointed officials,” and "who must follow the proper legal procedure,” which in this case would be the Departments of Education and Justice.

"O'Connor's order states that the injunction bars the administration from 'initiating, continuing, or concluding any investigation' based on its opinion that Title IX, the 1972 federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sex in education programs, also covers gender identity. The injunction also bars the administration from 'asserting the Guidelines carry weight in any litigation initiated' going forward,” said TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com.

O’Connor acknowledged the difficult nature of the policy in his ruling:

"This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” he said.

According to multiple sources, the Obama administration is expected to immediately appeal.

Read more here and check out related readings below. 

Related readings:

 

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

8/22/2016

Latest Education News
Sexual assault cases persist from elementary school up through college, so what's the solution to make schools safer?
Some experts are arguing that more classrooms that utilize blended learning will help decrease the high number of...
Parents in the Hazelwood School District are no different than many parents across the country in that they don't...
Philadelphia, the eighth largest district in the nation, has been battling school funding issues for the past few years...
Investigating the education candidate that never was.