Image Credits: CBS News

Recent debate over transgender bathroom regulations and directives has escalated as eleven states filed lawsuits against the Obama administration’s directive on allowing transgender students to use whatever bathroom they please. The states involved are Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Maine, Utah, Georgia, Louisiana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The suit alleges executive overreach by the Obama administration is interfering with state governments and the will of the people.

The suit was announced in a press conference by Texas’s Attorney General, Ken Paxton, and filed in a Texas Federal Court. Paxton said of the directive from the Obama administration, “This represents just the latest example of the current administration’s attempts to accomplish by executive fiat what they couldn’t accomplish through the democratic process in Congress.”

Currently, North Carolina is the only state that has signed “Bathroom Bill” legislation into law. In South Dakota, the measure was vetoed and in Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Mississippi the legislation failed.

The new guidelines require states to comply with transgender bathroom legislation or risk losing their federal funding.  Those guidelines have called into question the scope of federal anti-discrimination laws and the way this administration has been interpreting them.

Lit. Governor Dan Patrick of Texas responded to these threats with nothing but Texas sass, saying “He says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy. Well in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”

The lawsuit states, “The new rules, regulations, guidance and interpretations described herein go so far beyond any reasonable reading of the relevant congressional text such that the new rules, regulations, guidance and interpretations functionally exercise lawmaking power reserved only to Congress.”

A spokeswoman for the Justice department claims that “the federal government has strong legal foundations to uphold the civil rights of transgender Americans.”

The Obama administration’s Justice Department has not responded to the suit as of the writing of this article, but no doubt they will come out with teeth bared. The suit will first have to be heard in the Texas Federal Court before it makes it anywhere else, but this will likely not be the last we here of the “transgender bathroom bills” and the battle against Obama’s executive overreach by the states.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member