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No ruling yet in potty lawsuit

We should get one soon, at least as far as the request for an injunction goes.

RedEquality

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor did not issue a ruling from the bench after an almost two-hour long hearing during which state attorneys — as part of a Texas-led, 13-state effort to block the guidelines — argued they unconstitutionally “hold a gun to the head” of states and school districts.

In the first hearing over the state’s lawsuit against the federal government, Austin Nimocks, associate deputy for special litigation in the Texas Attorney General’s office, told O’Connor that the federal government “usurped” the authority of states and schools by requiring that “sexes must be mixed” in “intimate areas” like bathrooms.

[…]

But Texas jumped the gun in filing the lawsuit because the federal government has not moved forward with any enforcement action against a school, said Benjamin Berwick, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. Because of that, Berwick argued, Texas and the dozen other states that joined the lawsuit have no legal standing.

“Even if the guidance documents didn’t exist, the [federal government] could still bring enforcement based on understanding of the law as it pertains to transgender individuals,” Berwick argued. The difference is that entities would not have the “benefits” of knowing how the feds are interpreting the nondiscrimination protections.

During the hearing, Nimocks regularly described the guidelines as coercive because schools were required to change their policies or risk losing federal funds over unconstitutional rules that were “legislative in nature” but passed without congressional approval.

“They cannot simply say they are clarifying” existing law, Nimocks said, adding that the new rules were not consistent with the use of the sex category by Congress in the federal statutes, where it has been kept separate from gender identity.

See here and here for some background, and here for a story from before the hearing. As my children know all too well, school starts in nine days, so expect a ruling this week. Judge O’Connor is being asked to impose a nationwide halt on the directive, which is kind of a big deal especially with more than half of the states not being involved in the litigation. I suppose a more limited injunction is a possibility, but we’ll see.

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