A decision by the Justice Department under new Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop defending President Obama’s order that public schools allow boys who say they’re girls into girls’ restrooms and showers is being praised as a common-sense move.
“If you thought President Trump hit the ground running, you should see Jeff Sessions. The new attorney general was probably still unpacking his office when he got to work turning the page at the Justice Department after eight years of scandal. First up? The Obama bathroom mandate for public schools,” said the Washington Update by the Family Research Council.
“Less than 48 hours after his confirmation, Sessions’s DOJ made it clear the agency was under new management by refusing to defend the controversial order to let students of both sexes use any locker room, shower, or restroom they want.”
WND reported late in 2016 that the federal judge who originally halted Obama’s order, Reed O’Connor in Texas, doubled down on it, contending both Title IX and Title VII, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of “sex,” rely on “the consistent, uniform application of national standards in education and workplace policy.”
The Obama administration argued it was simply changing the understanding of “sex” under the non-discrimination laws to include “gender identity.”
That would mean a boy who says he’s a girl would have to be allowed in a girls’ shower room and vice versa.
Several states sued and O’Connor issued the injunction against the application of the newly created definition.
The Obama administration then complained the injunction was too broad, insisting officials should be able to impose their new definition in other cases not involving the plaintiff states.
Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who were involved in a number of challenges to the Obama administration plan to impose open restrooms on public schools, said the injunction needed to be nationwide “to prevent harm to children in other parts of the country.”
ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp explained: “The Obama administration cannot hold hostage the privacy rights and dignity interests of boys and girls across America. The federal court’s affirmation of its previous order halting the Obama administration’s unlawful threats against schools across the nation preserves the authority of local schools to act in the best interest of their students and not out of fear of being stripped of their federal funding.”
FRC said Sessions’ new direction halts the Obama effort to apply his open-showers mandate to states that didn’t sue.
A court date that had been scheduled in the case was canceled, and Justice officials said they were reviewing how to proceed.
“Of course, most Americans hope that ‘proceeding’ includes the formal withdrawal of an edict that’s already had a deleterious effect on girls’ privacy and safety. From Virginia to Oklahoma, the groundswell of opposition exploded. While some districts may have waffled on the rule, parents refused to take the government’s coercion lying down. In Palatine, Illinois, where girls were so afraid to change in the locker room that they wore their gym clothes under their school clothes, the Trump administration’s move is a positive step,” said FRC. “No child’s innocence should be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. As even some Democrats will tell you, the federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children.”
Brad Dacus, president and founder of Pacific Justice Institute, said he and his colleagues “salute President Trump’s actions to restore the privacy and dignity of those in public schools.”
“While communities should work to accommodate the needs of all students, including those with Gender Identity Dysphoria, Obama’s extreme mandate jeopardized the privacy rights of virtually every student in public schools,” he said. “No teenager in a locker room should ever have to worry about suddenly being visually violated by someone of the opposite biological sex while changing their clothes or showering.”
The DOJ, in his latest legal filing, said instead of pursuing at appeal, it is “currently considering how best to proceed.”
The issue already is looming before the Supreme Court in another case. The high court has temporarily blocked a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that would have required a school in Virginia to do essentially what Obama ordered. In that case it was a female student who demanded the privilege to use a boys restroom.
WND reported the Texas court ruling was a major blow to Obama’s alternative-sexual-behaviors agenda.
The Obama administration contends that when Congress adopted the nondiscrimination law in 1972, it had open restrooms and showers in view.
But the judge said, “It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used in [existing law] when it was enacted by DOE following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”