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11 States Sue Obama Administration Over Transgender Protections in Schools

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Evan Granowitz/Flickr

The largely conservative states, led by Texas, seek an injunction on policies that would allow transgender students to use facilities matching their gender identity.

Eleven states have filed suit against the federal government over transgender student guidelines handed down by the Obama Administration.

The suit before the Northern District Court of Texas accuses the Justice and Education departments of "flouting the democratic process" when they issued a joint guidance to public schools that transgender students should use the bathrooms and changing rooms matching their gender identity.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was instrumental in filing the suit and adding the support of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Arizona Department of Education and Maine Gov. Paul LePage are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The states are seeking a court ruling to overturn the guidance, which currently threatens the loss of federal funding for public schools that fail to comply with the new transgender policies.

The Obama administration considers sexual orientation and gender identity to be protected classes under the Civil Rights Act. The states' lawsuit argues that this interpretation of civil rights law is historically false and is an overreach of the federal government's power, specifically violating both the Tenth and Fourteenth amendments.

The government is "running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic human rights," the lawsuit claims.

Direct federal funding for public elementary and high schools is more than $55.9 billion per year. Texas alone receives $5.9 million, or $1,156 per student.

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