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Judge blocks Biden’s Title IX LGBTQ+ protections in 4 states

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A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration’s new Title IX rule expanding protections for LGBTQ+ students in four states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho. The Louisiana judge said the rule overstepped the Education Department’s authority.

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In a preliminary injunction granted Thursday, June 13, the judge called the new rule an “abuse of power” and a “threat to democracy.”

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Louisiana is among several Republican states with laws requiring students to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their sex assigned at birth, restricting transgender students from using facilities that align with their gender identity.

President Joe Biden’s rule clashes with those laws and claimed to supersede them. The Education Department said it’s standing by its rule and reviewing the judge’s order. 

This case is among at least seven backed by more than 20 Republican-led states fighting the Biden administration’s Title IX expansion. 

The rule, which is set to take effect in August, expands Title IX civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ students, expands the definitions of sexual harassment at schools and colleges, and adds safeguards for victims. 

Judges in at least six other cases are still weighing whether to put similar holds Biden’s Title IX rule, which was announced in late April. They include one federal lawsuit led by Tennessee and West Virginia that was joined by Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia. 

Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina also filed suit in a federal court in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Texas filed a similar suit in federal court in Amarillo.

The Louisiana judge expressed concern that the rule could require schools to allow transgender women and girls to compete on female sports teams. Several Republican states have laws forbidding transgender girls from competing on girls’ teams. 

The Biden administration has proposed a separate rule that would forbid such blanket bans but has said the Title IX rule change at the center of these lawsuits does not apply to athletics. 

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A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS BLOCKED THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S NEW TITLE IX RULE EXPANDING PROTECTIONS FOR LGBTQ+ STUDENTS IN FOUR STATES: LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, MONTANA, AND IDAHO. THE LOUISIANA JUDGE SAID THE RULE OVERSTEPPED THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S AUTHORITY. 

IN A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION GRANTED THURSDAY, JUNE 13, THE JUDGE CALLED THE NEW RULE AN “ABUSE OF POWER” AND A “THREAT TO DEMOCRACY”. LOUISIANA IS AMONG SEVERAL REPUBLICAN STATES WITH LAWS REQUIRING STUDENTS TO USE BATHROOMS AND LOCKER ROOMS BASED ON THEIR SEX ASSIGNED AT BIRTH, RESTRICTING TRANSGENDER STUDENTS FROM USING FACILITIES THAT ALIGN WITH THEIR GENDER IDENTITY. 

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S RULE CLASHES WITH THOSE LAWS AND CLAIMED TO SUPERSEDE THEM. THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SAYS IT’S STANDING BY ITS RULE AND IS REVIEWING THE JUDGE’S ORDER. 

THIS CASE IS AMONG AT LEAST SEVEN BACKED BY MORE THAN 20 REPUBLICAN-LED STATES FIGHTING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S TITLE IX EXPANSION. 

THE RULE, WHICH IS SET TO TAKE EFFECT IN AUGUST, EXPANDS TITLE IX CIVIL RIGHTS PROTECTIONS TO LGBTQ+ STUDENTS, EXPANDS THE DEFINITIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, AND ADDS SAFEGUARDS FOR VICTIMS. 

JUDGES IN AT LEAST SIX OTHER CASES ARE STILL WEIGHING WHETHER TO PUT SIMILAR HOLDS BIDEN’S TITLE IX RULE, WHICH WAS ANNOUNCED IN LATE APRIL. THEY INCLUDE ONE FEDERAL LAWSUIT LED BY TENNESSEE AND WEST VIRGINIA THAT WAS JOINED BY KENTUCKY, OHIO, INDIANA AND VIRGINIA. 

 ALABAMA, FLORIDA, GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA ALSO FILED SUIT IN A FEDERAL COURT IN TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA, AND TEXAS FILED A SIMILAR SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT IN AMARILLO. 

 THE LOUISIANA JUDGE EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE RULE COULD REQUIRE SCHOOLS TO ALLOW TRANSGENDER WOMEN AND GIRLS TO COMPETE ON FEMALE SPORTS TEAMS. SEVERAL REPUBLICAN STATES HAVE LAWS FORBIDDING TRANSGENDER GIRLS FROM COMPETING ON GIRLS’ TEAMS. 

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS PROPOSED A SEPARATE RULE THAT WOULD FORBID SUCH BLANKET BANS BUT HAS SAID THE TITLE IX RULE CHANGE AT THE CENTER OF THESE LAWSUITS DOES NOT APPLY TO ATHLETICS.