Politics

Texas, 12 Other States Sue To Block Obama’s Transgender Bathroom Rule

Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal court to issue an injunction before the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Texas Attorney General’s office is seeking an injunction to block the Obama administration’s rule on transgender access to bathrooms in public schools. Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the motion in federal court in Wichita Falls. Twelve other states joined the suit, asking the court to block the rule before the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

“They’re claiming that the [U.S.] Department of Education is trying to make law in a way that goes beyond what Congress allowed when it passed Title IX and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which have to do with discrimination based on sex. This is based on gender identification. They’re trying to make a big deal that that’s a difference,” says Peter Linzer, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Houston Law Center.

The suit is only the latest move in Texas’ ongoing fight with the Obama administration over the transgender directive. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has ordered Texas school superintendents not to comply with the rule, even though doing so would cost the state roughly $10 billion in federal education funds.

The court is expected to rule on the motion sometime in August.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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