States File Suit in Test of Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom Policy
The Obama administration on Wednesday faced the first major court challenge to its guidance about the civil rights of transgender students in public schools, as officials in 11 states filed a lawsuit testing both the scope of federal anti-discrimination law and the government’s sweeping interpretation of it.
The officials, in states from Arizona to Georgia to Texas to Wisconsin, brought the case in U.S. District Court in Wichita Falls, Texas, and said that the Obama administration had “conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over common-sense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights.”
The lawsuit asked the court to block the federal government from “implementing, applying or enforcing the new rules, regulations and guidance interpretations.”
Wednesday’s litigation fed into the nation’s intensifying, and suddenly fast-moving, debate about the rights of transgender people and, in particular, whether the administration has exceeded the scope of current U.S. laws defining discrimination.