A coalition of 20 Republican-led states filed a lawsuit Monday aimed at overturning the Biden administration’s guidelines allowing transgender workers and students to use washrooms and locker rooms and join sports teams that match their identities. kind.
The states, led by the Office of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tennessee, said the June guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department Department of Education improperly extended a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that extended anti-discrimination protections. transgender workers.
The Bostock court v. Clayton County said employers cannot fire workers because of their gender identity or sexuality. Judges expressly declined to decide whether the ruling applied to gender-separated bathrooms and locker rooms, States said on Monday, but the EEOC and DOE incorrectly concluded that it did.
Slatery said in a statement that the agencies had usurped Congress’ power to change federal law.
“All of this, along with the threat to suspend funding for education in the midst of a pandemic, justifies this trial,” he said.
Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio were among the states that joined the lawsuit.
The EEOC and DOE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Bostock Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition of sex discrimination in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 extended to prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The DOE in its June guidelines concluded that because Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, which outlawed gender bias in federally funded education programs, borrowed the language of Title VII, Bostock applied. also to schools.
The department said, for example, that preventing a transgender high school girl from using the girls ‘bathroom or trying for the girls’ cheerleader team would violate Title IX.
Last year, the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals in GG v. Gloucester County School Board ruled that Title IX allows transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. The Supreme Court refused in June to take up the case.
The EEOC, meanwhile, said in its guidelines that in Bostock’s light, Title VII allows transgender workers to use any toilet they choose and dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity.
States in Monday’s trial said Bostock was not that broad. The text of Title IX is significantly different from that of Title VII, and the Supreme Court’s ruling did not extend to gender-separated work areas, they said.
The states said the two agencies exceeded their authority by issuing directives and violated the administrative procedure law by failing to follow regulatory procedures required by law.
They also accused the agencies of violating the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by infringing on state authority over expectations of privacy in the workplace and in schools.
States seek to overturn directives and declaratory judgments that Titles VII and IX do not prohibit employers and schools from maintaining facilities separated by sex assigned at birth.
The case is Tennessee v. US Department of Education, US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, No. 3: 21-cv-00308.
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