Monday morning Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced a U.S. judge has blocked the Obama administration guidance that transgender public school students must be allowed to use bathrooms of their gender “identity” — rather than their sex, or risk losing federal funding — granting a nationwide injunction sought by a group of 13 states, including Alabama.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states. In a decision late Sunday, O’Connor explained the Obama administration failed to follow proper procedures for notice and comment in issuing the guidelines. He also said the federal guidelines had the effect of law and contradict existing legislative and regulatory texts.
“The court decision is a victory for parents and children all across Alabama,” said Attorney General Strange. “I joined the multi-state lawsuit against the Obama administration in May to prevent Alabama schools from being forced to surrender their restroom access policies to social experimenters in Washington. I am pleased the federal court has agreed to our request to stay the controversial order while our lawsuit challenging the legality of the transgender order continues.”
On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice jointly announced schools must allow students access to restrooms and locker rooms of their gender “identity” rather than their sex, or lose federal funding.
On May 27, Strange advised the Alabama Board of Education, which governs K-12 public schools, that it did not have to follow the federal edict until the multi-state lawsuit is addressed in federal court.
The 13 states that filed the lawsuit requesting the stay include Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.