Biden admin's transgender Title IX rules face legal challenge from Texas

Texas AG Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit alleging 'radical gender ideology' undermines women's protections.

Biden admin's transgender Title IX rules face legal challenge from Texas
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Monday against the Biden administration's new Title IX rules, which require public schools to allow transgender students to compete in girls' sports and use women's bathrooms.

The Education Department unveiled the new regulations earlier this month, set to take effect in August, prohibiting schools from enforcing blanket bans on trans-identifying females participating in girls' sports. The lawsuit comes amid ongoing debates surrounding the participation of transgender athletes in women's sports, with female athletes at high schools and colleges in several states speaking out against competing against trans-identifying females.

Title IX, a federal civil rights law enacted in 1972, prohibits sex-based discrimination at schools that receive federal funding. Paxton alleges that the administration is attempting to twist the law's meaning to align with "radical gender ideology," stating, "Texas will not allow Joe Biden to rewrite Title IX at whim, destroying legal protections for women in furtherance of his radical obsession with gender ideology. This attempt to subvert federal law is plainly illegal, undemocratic, and divorced from reality."

America First Legal, a conservative legal group, joined Texas in filing the lawsuit and is serving as outside counsel for the state, the Daily Wire reported. The group claims that the changes would "fundamentally transform the educational atmosphere of publicly funded educational institutions, forcing communities to capitulate to unscientific gender ideology and putting girls and women at risk in K-12 schools and on college campuses."

The new regulations will apply to all public K-12 schools, colleges, and universities that receive federal funding. Parental rights advocates have criticized the new rules as too vague, arguing that they will discourage schools from enforcing any limits on transgender females in girls' sports. Conversely, transgender activists have expressed concern that the new policy gives too much leeway to schools seeking to ban transgender females from athletically competing with girls.

The updated rules may also conflict with laws in several states that restrict transgender students from playing on girls' teams or using girls' facilities. The Biden administration's new rules state that schools receiving federal funding may not impose wholesale bans on transgender females in girls' sports, but they may exclude them on a case-by-case basis.

Schools must meet two standards when implementing "sex-related criteria" that would limit or ban a transgender student from playing on the team of their preferred gender. First, the criteria must be related to an "important educational objective," such as preventing sports-related injuries or ensuring fairness in competition. Second, the criteria must also "minimize harms" to the transgender student.

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