Twenty states are suing the Biden administration for implementing expanded LGBT nondiscrimination provisions that the plaintiffs believe run afoul of federal law as well as U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
A lawsuit was filed by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, a Republican, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee Knoxville Division Monday.
The Republican attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia also signed onto the lawsuit as plaintiffs.
Defendants in the case are the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows, the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke.
“This case is about two federal agencies changing law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” Slatery said in a statement. “The agencies simply do not have that authority.”
The plaintiffs allege that policies implemented by the Biden administration have caused “irreparable harm” by threatening to withhold federal funding if they do not comply with the new directives.
The policies at issue stem from an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office asserting that “the Title IX Education Amendments of 1972,” originally designed to prevent discrimination based on sex in education, also prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Additionally, the lawsuit challenges the Department of Education’s announcement that it will “fully enforce Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in education programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the Department.”
As detailed in the lawsuit, the Department sent a “dear educator” letter to Title IX recipient schools across the nation notifying them of the new interpretation of federal civil rights law. A fact sheet accompanied the letter.
The lawsuit expressed particular concern about the portion of the fact sheet alleging that preventing a trans-identified male from using the women’s restroom and preventing a trans-identified male from trying out for girls’ cheerleading constitutes sex discrimination.