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

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


Latest Education News
A new analysis of federal data finds that a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families for...
After conducting a survey, elearning director Peter West shares what his students think about teachers using blended... has announced a new commitment to ensuring student privacy.
What better way to promote summer learning than to engage in STEM activities?
Check out this resource guide for teaching about the general election before it happens on November 8.