Trump administration signals it may abandon effort to protect transgender students
Sun. February 12, 2017 9:30 AM by Carlos Santoscoy
The move by the Department of Justice comes on the second day of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' tenure at the federal agency and signals a change in policy is likely in the offing.
Eleven states joined Texas in challenging last year's guidance by the Department of Education. The Obama administration argued that prohibiting transgender students from using the bathroom of their choice was a violation of sex discrimination under Title IX.
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor issued a temporary injunction last year blocking the policy. The Obama administration had asked an appeals court to limit the scope of the injunction to those states challenging the guidance. The new administration withdrew that request on Friday.
According to The Washington Post, the brief, filed jointly by the Justice Department and the suing states, asks the court to cancel arguments in the case scheduled for Tuesday, saying that "the parties are currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal."
The court immediately granted the request.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, criticized the move.
"After being on the job for less than 48 hours, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his intent to undermine the equal dignity of transgender students," Griffin said in a statement. "Transgender students are entitled to the full protection of the United States Constitution and our federal nondiscrimination laws. It is heartbreaking and wrong that the agency tasked with enforcing civil rights laws would instead work to subvert them for political interests. President Trump must immediately reverse course and direct the DOJ to uphold guidance protecting transgender students."
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