26 Oct Transgender Bathroom Mandate in the Courts
by Diane Robertson
A couple of years ago, President Obama quietly changed Title IX by adding transgender to the law. Last Spring, the Obama administration stated that all schools that did not allow students to use locker rooms, bathrooms, and sports teams according to the gender with which they identified, would lose all federal funding.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor, in Wichita Falls, TX, rejected a request by the US Department of Justice to limit his injunction against Obama’s Title IX from a nationwide ban to a ban only for the 13 states that are involved in a lawsuit against the mandate.
Judge O’Connor stated that not only does he have the authority to issue a nationwide injunction, but that “a geographically-limited injunction would be ineffective” because “both Title IX and Title VII rely on the consistent, uniform application of national standards.”
Unhappy with O’Connor’s ruling, the US Department of Education filed a notice that they will appeal to the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is considered one of the most conservative federal appellate courts in the nation.
The Fourth Circuit Court has already ruled in favor of Obama’s Title IX amendment, but on August 3, the Supreme Court granted an “emergency” stay to stop the defendant from using the opposite sex bathrooms. The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether to hear the case in 2017.
With more circuit courts ruling on the mandate, the Supreme Court may reject the Virginia case while waiting for more courts to make a ruling, as has been done in the past.
For now, all schools nationwide are not required to implement the Title IX transgender mandate until another court and another judge overrules Judge O’Connor’s decision.