Federal judge blocks new guidance for transgender athletes in 20 states

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:12 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A federal judge in Tennessee has blocked new guidance for transgender athletes in 20 states, including Kansas.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says on Monday, July 18, a federal court issued a temporary injunction that prohibits the enforcement of new, expansive applications of federal law to transgender athletes and related matters of gender identity.

Late Friday, AG Schmidt said a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee granted the injunction he and 19 other state attorneys general sought to halt enforcement of guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Education against the plaintiff states.

Schmidt said the guidance claimed to have resolved highly controversial issues - like whether schools must allow those who were born male to compete on a girls’ sports team, whether employers and schools could maintain sex-separated showers and locker rooms and whether individuals could be made by the government to use another person’s preferred pronouns.

According to the AG, the court recognized that President Joe Biden’s Administration had attempted to expand the scope of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v Clayton County which narrowly focused on employment discrimination and did not address any of the other issues covered in the guidance.

“The federal court has recognized this illegal overreach by the Biden administration to unilaterally resolve these sensitive questions that are better addressed by elected representatives,” Schmidt said. “It is clear that the administration is determined to make sweeping one-size-fits-all policy changes without public comment or proper notice.”

Schmidt said the guidance would have invalidated state laws across the nation and could bar states from legislating on the matter, such as separating sporting competitions by biological sex.

Earlier in 2022, the Kansas Legislature passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, however, it was vetoed by Governor Laura Kelly and upheld by the House of Representatives.

Schmidt said Kansas and the plaintiff states continue to fight to ensure that federal bureaucrats cannot take policy decisions away from state governments.

The AG noted that the federal court injunction prohibits the enforcement of the guidelines in Kansas and the 19 other states joined in the lawsuit.

To read a copy of the federal court order, click HERE.

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