Title IX turmoil: 26 states are fighting new LGBTQ+ rules

Seven lawsuits encompassing 26 states argue that President Joe Biden and the Department of Education do not have the proper authority to extend Title IX protection to LGBTQIA+ students.

Institutions across more than half the country rushing to comply with recently unveiled Title IX regulations find themselves at a standstill. Seven lawsuits encompassing 26 states argue that President Joe Biden and the Department of Education do not have the proper authority to extend Title IX protection to LGBTQIA+ students.

“As we push back on the federal government, we think that we’re within our states’ rights,” Utah Senate President Stuart Adams told The Salt Lake Tribune. “And we do believe we’re on solid ground even though it is cutting edge.”

The Utah Legislature joined the GOP-led states of Kansas, Alaska and Wyoming in a joint lawsuit. Meanwhile, two federal judges weighing separate lawsuits have issued temporary blocks on the Title IX ruling in 10 states.

Danny Reeves, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, ruled the new Title IX regulations “derail deeply rooted law” in his temporary injunction. “[T]he Department’s actions with respect to this rulemaking are arbitrary and capricious,” he wrote. “The Department fails to provide a reasoned explanation for departing from its longstanding interpretations regarding the meaning of sex and provided virtually no answers to many of the difficult questions that arose during the public comment phase.”

Some commenters were concerned that transgender students posed a safety risk to other students, which the Department refuted without providing “credible empirical analysis,” Reeves added.


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Moreover, Republican lawmakers at the federal level have succeeded in pushing back against the Department’s new Title IX regulation. The House’s Committee on Education and the Workforce is moving to invoke the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to repeal a federal agency’s actions. If the motion passes, it will still need approval from the president.

The new Title IX is due for implementation nationwide in August. “As a parent and as attorney general, I joined this effort to protect our women and girls from harm,” said Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman in a press release announcing a lawsuit. “Today’s ruling recognized the 50-plus years of educational opportunities Title IX has created for students and athletes.”

Which states are contesting the new Title IX rules?

Lawsuits that blocked it temporarily
Lawsuits awaiting opinion
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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