A Tennessee judge has prevented the enforcement of directives from the Biden administration permitting transgender students to join sports teams and use restrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identity.
Eastern District of Tennessee Judge Charles Atchley Jr. ruled Friday that consenting to these policies would limit the freedom for each state to establish its own policies regarding transgender participation in girls’ sports and the use of private spaces such as bathrooms and locker rooms.
Last year, several Republican attorneys general filed a lawsuit targeting the directives. They criticized the policy as a faulty interpretation of Title IX that would result in schools losing federal funding because their laws contradict Biden’s mandate.
“As demonstrated above, the harm alleged by Plaintiff States is already occurring—their sovereign power to enforce their own legal code is hampered by the issuance of Defendants’ guidance and they face substantial pressure to change their state laws as a result,” Atchley wrote.
The guidance from the federal government last year noted that the Education Department could launch a Title IX investigation if a school bans transgender students from extracurriculars and amenities that correspond with their gender identification.
The Justice Department, Education Department, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are all defendants in the suit. While there have been no official comments on the order, the three previously requested Atchley to dismiss the case.
Oklahoma Attorney John O’Connor released a statement Saturday calling Atchley’s decision “a major victory for women’s sports and for the privacy and safety of girls and women in their school bathrooms and locker rooms.”
“I am grateful the court ruled for Oklahoma and stopped the Biden Administration from enforcing its outrageous reading of Title IX, to include gender identity as a protected class. I will continue to hold President Biden accountable and do everything I can to uphold the rule of law,” O’Connor added.