Federal Judge Hands Biden a Major Loss

Federal Judge Hands Biden a Major Loss

The Biden administration's effort to revise Title IX rules in favor of transgender students faced a significant setback on Thursday when a federal judge in Louisiana permitted four states to block these rules.

In a decision affecting Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho, U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty invalidated the Department of Education's rule. This rule had aimed to reinterpret Title IX—the historic 1972 law that prohibits sex discrimination—to compel schools to accommodate transgender students' demands.

“This case demonstrates the abuse of power by executive federal agencies in the rulemaking process. The separation of powers and system of checks and balances exist in this country for a reason,” Doughty stated, asserting that the Biden administration exceeded its authority by imposing a rule with significant fiscal implications for every school nationwide and emphasizing that Title IX “was written and intended to protect biological women from discrimination.”

Judge Doughty, appointed by former President Donald Trump, according to USA Today, criticized the Education Department's rules. These rules suggested that Title IX, initially enacted to shield female students from discrimination or harassment, should also protect students based on gender identity, as reported by The New York Times.

Under this rule, students would be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity. Schools failing to comply, or not using a transgender student’s preferred pronoun, could be accused of creating a hostile environment subject to investigation by the Education Department.

Doughty, however, issued a preliminary injunction to halt the rule's implementation while it undergoes judicial review. He argued that the Biden administration's rule “would subvert the original purpose of Title IX.”

“Title IX was enacted for the protection of the discrimination of biological females. However, the Final Rule may likely cause biological females more discrimination than they had before Title IX was enacted,” Doughty wrote. “Importantly, Defendants did not consider the effect the Final Rule would have on biological females by requiring them to share their bathrooms and locker rooms with biological males.

“The Final Rule only focuses on the ‘effect on the student who changes their gender identity’ and fails to address the effect on the other students (‘cisgender students’). These cisgender females must use the bathroom, undress, and shower in the presence of persons who may identify as females but still have male biological parts.”

Doughty criticized the department for declaring, “with no explanation, that transgender students do not pose a safety risk for cisgender students.”

He warned that “by allowing biological men who identify as a female into locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms, biological females risk invasion of privacy, embarrassment, and sexual assault.”

“Allowing a biological male student to change to a female by simply declaring it, requiring no documentation of the change, and allowing the student to shower with cisgender females in the girls’ locker room goes beyond the scope of arbitrary and capricious," Doughty added.

According to Doughty, the Biden administration's rule “would render meaningless all of the Exemptions set forth in Title IX, such as traditionally one-sex colleges, social fraternities and sororities, voluntary youth organizations, one-sex youth service organizations, beauty pageants, and the exemption that allows educational facilities to maintain separate living facilities. Allowing this would allow decades of triumphs for women and men alike to go down the drain.”

The judge concluded that the proposed rule “allows for one political ideology to dominate the educational landscape while either silencing the other or calling the other ‘harassment’ under these standards.”

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