11-state coalition, including Texas, sues over bathroom edict

By Chris Dickerson | May 25, 2016

AUSTIN — Behind Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas is one of 11 states that filed suit against the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice challenging a recent directive on transgender students as federal overreach.

The lawsuit, filed May 25 in the Northern District of Texas, alleges the federal directive unlawfully puts at risk substantial funding for local school districts that refuse to admit students to the bathrooms, locker rooms, dormitories and athletic teams of their choice.

“Our local schools are now in the crosshairs of the Obama Administration, which maintains it will punish those schools who do not comply with its orders. These schools are facing the potential loss of school funding for simply following common sense policies that protect their students,” Paxton said. “This represents just the latest example of the current administration’s attempts to accomplish by executive fiat what they couldn’t accomplish through the democratic process in Congress. By forcing through his policies by executive action, President Obama excluded the voice of the people. We stand today to ensure those voices are heard.”  

The lawsuit contends President Obama’s administration seeks to unilaterally expand the decades-old understanding of the word “sex” from that based on biology to include a person’s self-determined gender identity. Such an approach ignores lawful procedure, sidesteps congressional authorization and unconstitutionally coerces states.

The plaintiffs also allege violations of the Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments among other arguments.

Paxton signed onto the lawsuit with officials from West Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. They are joined by two local school districts in Arizona and Texas.

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