Texas Judge Blocks Directive to Allow Transgender Students to Use Bathroom of Their Choice

The ruling puts a temporary injunction on the directive in Texas, but other states still have to comply.

By Rhonda FanningAugust 22, 2016 11:17 am

Sunday evening, a Fort Worth federal judge ruled the Obama Administration can’t direct public schools in Texas to allow students who are transgender to use the bathroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity.

The Department of Justice sent a directive in May, advising that prohibiting students from activities and facilities due to their gender identity would be in violation of Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination. Texas and 12 other states then filed suit to stop the directive from affecting public school rules.

Chuck Lindell, with the Austin American-Statesman, has been poring over this 38-page order. He says the directive is still in place nationwide, as students return to school this week, but Texas schools will not have to follow the federal guidelines for now.

Judge Reed O’Connor issued the preliminary injunction, saying the federal government violated its own rules on what “sex” is defined as under federal law.

“What the judge said is: under the plain meaning of sex back in 1972, transgender wasn’t at play,” Lindell says. “Your sex was defined by your characteristics at birth, what’s on your birth certificate – boy or girl.”

O’Connor also ruled that the federal government didn’t follow the rules on common review when they sent the directive.

Lindell says in order for Texas, and the other states opposing the directive, to get an injunction they first had to prove that they would likely prevail at the trial.

Next up is the trial. But Lindell says the Obama administration is bound to appeal the judgment to the 5th Circuit of Appeals to get this ruling overturned.

“I expect what they’ll say is this is going to be appealed,” Lindell says. “That they disagree with the judge’s rationale and then it will go forward from there in the appeals court process.

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.