Judge Halts Biden Administration’s Title IX Policy Changes

A federal judge in Texas has halted the Biden administration’s bid to extend federal anti-discrimination safeguards to LGBTQ+ students.

On Tuesday, Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the Biden administration did not have the authority to implement the changes and criticized it for advancing “an agenda that is completely disconnected from Title IX’s text, structure, and current context.” Title IX is a law from 1972 that prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational environments.

“Allowing the [Biden administration’s] unlawful action to stand would effectively rewrite Title IX in a manner that fundamentally alters American education and takes a key issue away from Congress,” wrote O’Connor, who was appointed by President George W. Bush. “This is not how our democratic system operates.”

In April, the Biden administration issued new guidelines that broadened Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These changes would require schools and universities to investigate a wider array of discrimination complaints. The modifications were introduced as several states, including Texas, have enacted laws in recent years prohibiting transgender student-athletes from participating in sports teams that align with their gender identity. It remains unclear whether the new guidelines would be applicable in such instances.

Texas and several other states have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration over the new rule. Carroll ISD also filed a separate lawsuit challenging the change. A month after releasing the guidelines, Governor Greg Abbott urged school districts and universities to disregard them.

“Threatening to withhold education funding by imposing ‘transgender’ policies that endanger women is clearly illegal,” remarked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement praising Tuesday’s decision. “Texas has triumphed on behalf of the entire country.”

The U.S. Education Department affirmed in a statement that it stands by its updated guidelines.

“Every student deserves the right to feel secure in school,” the statement emphasized.

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