CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey applauds today’s decision blocking nationwide enforcement of the federal government’s directive on transgender students.
The injunction granted by a federal court in Texas stops implementation of President Obama’s directive threatening federal funding for local school districts that refuse to admit students to the bathrooms, locker rooms, dormitories and athletic teams of their choice.
“This is a crucial victory in our fight against federal overreach,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We are pleased that the court recognized the threat this mandate poses to students’ privacy and local decision making over school policy. Halting implementation will protect vital West Virginia school funding while litigation is still pending.”
The decision provides legal certainty for West Virginia school officials as the school year begins.
The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office joined 12 other states in seeking this injunction in July 2016.
The injunction supports a lawsuit brought by West Virginia, Texas and 11 other states against the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice in May 2016.
That lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Texas, contends the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice seek to single handedly change the traditionally held understanding of the word “sex” from that based on biology to include a person’s self-determined gender identity.
The states argue such an approach ignores lawful procedure, sidesteps congressional authorization and unconstitutionally coerces states. The plaintiffs also point to violations of the Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments among other arguments.
West Virginia brought the lawsuit with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. They are joined by two local school districts in Arizona and Texas.