The new Attorney General Jeff Session is making a statement by not challenging the injunction that is blocking the Title IX, the transgender policy that the Obama administration was advocating for.
In August, Texas introduced a court order that blocked the Obama administration from dictating how states accommodate transgender students. The injunction was introduced after a dozen states filed lawsuits opposing the guidance. But on Friday, the Department of Justice under Trump withdrew the government’s prior objection.
In May 2016, the Obama administration issued the Title IX guidance allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
Those opposed to the guidance argue that it jeopardizes the privacy rights of all other students.
But now under federal law, schools will no longer be required to provide students access to restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
“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’ 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.”
The Obama administration had plans to appeal the injunction against the guidance and the oral arguments were set to start on Valentine’s day.
The injunction will remain in place.
“The parties are currently considering how best to proceed with this appeal,” said the Department of Justice in a U.S. Court of Appeals legal brief.
A justice department spokeswoman decline to comment on what the next step for the department would be.
The DOJ is already getting push back from the LGBTQ community. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed an amicus brief in support of the transgender policy.
“It’s difficult to anticipate the Justice Department’s next move but I will say that in one fell swoop it abandoned its promise made by last attorney general Loretta Lynch to protect the most marginalized and targeted communities by canceling the oral argument that was scheduled for today,” said Lambda Legal attorney Paul Castillo in an interview.
“We do anticipate further attacks of LGBT individuals by this administration and anticipate rollback in rights. So we’re certainly prepared to fight that.”
Conservative groups dispute that the law doesn’t keep in mind the safety of all students.
“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,” said Matt Sharp, Alliance Defending Freedom’s legal counsel.
And it looks as though that Session’s DOJ is in favor of this stance.
“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,” said the Family Research Council.