Tennessee judge temporarily blocks Biden administration regulation on transgender use of bathrooms

A federal judge in Tennessee has temporarily blocked a Biden administration regulation that would have allowed transgender students, employees, and athletes to use restrooms and locker rooms, and play for teams that reflect their gender identity. According to the New York Post, Judge Charles Atchley Jr. of the Eastern District of Tennessee sided with 20 Republican state attorneys general who filed a lawsuit last August, claiming that the federal directives would make it impossible for states to enact their own laws prohibiting transgender athletes from playing in girls’ sports or using women’s restrooms.

The states involved in the suit included Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

The Trump-appointed judge stated in his decision, “As demonstrated above, the harm alleged by Plaintiff States is already occurring — their sovereign power to enforce their own legal code is hampered by the issuance of Defendants’ guidance and they face substantial pressure to change their state laws as a result.” Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor called the ruling a “major victory for women’s sports and for the privacy and safety of girls and women in their school bathrooms and locker rooms.”

The Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued the guidance last year following the high court’s decision that individuals who identify as transgender, gay, or lesbian are protected from discrimination under a law known as Title VII. The department said its “interpretation stems from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, issued one year ago this week, in which the Supreme Court recognized that it is impossible to discriminate against a person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity without discriminating against that person based on sex​.”

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