11 states file lawsuit challenging Obama’s transgender directive
Texas and 10 other states will sue the Obama administration over a directive that forces states to adjust their policy to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
Texas’s action was announced on Twitter by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R) on Wednesday, where he thanked his attorney general for deciding to bring the suit forward.
The other states that joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs are Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Utah, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, Maine, Arizona and Maine.
The filing accuses the Obama administration of "running roughshod over commonsense policies" that protect children and asks a judge to declare the move unlawful.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is expected to discuss the lawsuit in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
The Education Department’s directive, which was made earlier this month, orders public schools to create policies allowing transgender students to use bathrooms based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
“No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus,” said Education Secretary John King Jr.
The administration justifies its action on the basis of Title IX, a federal statute that prohibits gender discrimination at educational institutions that receive public funding.
Abbot said that Paxton’s lawsuit “challenging the way that the Obama administration is trampling the United States Constitution” during a stop on a book tour, according to The Texas Tribune.
"The president has no authority to enact laws whatsoever. Several times Congress has taken up the issue of whether to expand the Civil Rights Act and Title IX and whether or not to include transgender. Both times or multiple times, Congress has decided against that,” Abbot added.
The lawsuits are part of a national transgender bathroom usage controversy, which erupted following the passage of a bill in North Carolina that required that people use the bathroom corresponding to their biological gender.
Supporters of Obama’s directive say that it protects transgender students from unjust discrimination, while opponents argue that activists are asking for an unprincipled exception to bathroom policy that continues to segregate most people by gender.
Just in: Ted Cruz salutes Texas for taking a "strong stand" on transgender lawsuit. pic.twitter.com/2GmTuXnSot— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) May 25, 2016
Texas has led the charge in dozens of lawsuits against the Obama administration. In 2015, the state brought a lawsuit that halted Obama’s executive action to grant amnesty to four million illegal immigrants.
The case, which named 25 other states as plaintiffs, has so far been successful in in the courts and has prevented the order from taking effect. The administration has fought these rulings, and Supreme Court will eventually make a final decision on the matter.