Politics

State AG Ken Paxton Calls Injunction Against Obama Transgender Rule A Win For Texans

The ruling by a U.S. district judge puts a nationwide hold on the directive, issued by the U.S. Education Department in May, requiring that students in public schools be allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

A federal judge in northern Texas has issued a temporary injunction, halting enforcement of the Obama Administration’s directive on bathroom access for transgender students in public schools. State Attorney General Ken Paxton is hailing the decision as a victory for Texans.

Texas and 12 other states are suing to overturn the directive, issued by the U.S. Education Department in May. The injunction puts a nationwide freeze on the policy until the case is decided.

At question is the interpretation of Title IX, which bars sexual discrimination in public schools.

“For us, all along, this has been an issue about executive overreach and the Obama Administration continually to overreach into areas that are not allowed by the executive branch or reserved specifically for Congress,” says Marc Rylander, a spokesperson for the Texas attorney general’s office.

The administration argues that Title IX, as written, provides the Education Department all the authority it needs to issue the directive.

“There’s a doctrine called the Chevron Doctrine,” says Peter Linzer, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Houston Law Center. “It’s a doctrine that comes out of the Chevron oil company, a case involving them. And this is a doctrine that says when a federal statute is ambiguous, the ruling of an administrative agency that expertise in the area should be given a great deal of deference by the courts.”

The administration issued the rule just days after the U.S. Justice Department sued North Carolina over a state law that requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificates. That increases the chances that the issue will ultimately have to be decided by the Supreme Court.

 

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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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