Eleven U.S. states to drop suit over transgender bathroom order

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By Ian Simpson

<span class="articleLocation”>Eleven U.S. states have agreed to drop a lawsuit
against
an Obama administration order for transgender students to use
bathrooms of their choice after the measure was revoked by
President Donald Trump, a court filing showed on Thursday.

In a filing in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S.
Justice Department said the states, led by Texas, had agreed to
drop the lawsuit, and it was dropping its appeal against a
federal judge’s August stay on the Obama directive.

In their suit in May, the states said Democratic President
Barack Obama’s administration overstepped its authority by
ordering public schools to let transgender students use
bathrooms matching their gender identity, rather than their
birth gender, or risk losing federal funding.

Obama officials had said that barring students from such
bathrooms violated Title IX, the federal law that forbids sex
discrimination in education.

But the directive enraged conservatives who say federal
civil rights protections cover biological sex, not gender
identity. Obama was succeeded by Trump, a Republican, when he
left office in January.

Texas was joined in the lawsuit by Alabama, Georgia,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah,
West Virginia and Wisconsin. The Arizona Department of
Education, Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage and two school
districts also were parties to the suit.

A federal judge in August barred adoption of the order
during the hearing of the case. The Justice Department appealed
the stay, saying it should only apply to the states challenging
the order.

Last week, the Trump administration rescinded the order,
leaving states and school boards to decide how to accommodate
transgender students.

Other lawsuits about the rights of transgender students are
being heard in the courts.

The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on March 28
addressing the question of whether the Gloucester County School
Board in Virginia can block a female-born transgender student
from using the boys’ bathroom.



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