4 more states sue Biden admin. to stop expansion of Title IX regulations

Miguel Cardona speaks after President-Elect Joe Biden announced him as his nominee for Education Secretary at the Queen theatre on December 23, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Miguel Cardona speaks after President-Elect Joe Biden announced him as his nominee for Education Secretary at the Queen theatre on December 23, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. | Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Four more states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its recent decision to reinterpret Title IX civil rights protections guarding against sex discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

Kansas, Alaska, Utah and Wyoming filed a complaint Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, Topeka. Other named plaintiffs include a minor identified as "K.R." and the groups Moms for Liberty, Young America's Foundation and Female Athletes United.

Defendants include the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

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The complaint contends that the new regulations, which are slated to go into effect in August, "politicize our country's educational system to conform to the radical ideological views of the Biden administration and its allies."

The complaint alleges that the administration is trying "to rewrite" Title IX to "institutionalize the left-wing fad of transgender ideology in our K-12 system and tie school funding to it," require that "colleges and universities punish students who refuse to comply with these views through a campus grievance process that is akin to 'kangaroo courts,'" and force "schools to provide benefits to students and employees seeking voluntary abortions (even in states where it is outlawed) in direct conflict with Title IX's abortion neutrality provision."

"This unlawful rule also robs girls and women of their opportunity to participate in their school's education programs and activities, especially athletics, by forcing them to compete with biological males," continues the complaint.

"It forces both boys and girls, in their most formative years, to sacrifice their privacy in personal spaces such as restrooms, locker rooms, and even overnight accommodations. Finally, it takes an explicit state function (the creation and administration of public schools) and warps it by conditioning federal education funding on schools violating the constitutional rights of their students and employees."

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach said in a statement that he believes the final rule is "unconscionable" because "it's dangerous for girls and women, and it's against federal law."

"If Biden has his way, a 16-year-old female high school student on an overnight field trip could be forced to share a hotel room with a biological male who identifies as a girl or the district would risk losing federal funding," Kobach stated.

"A 14-year-old girl could be forced to share a locker room and change in front of an 18-year-old man who identifies as a woman or the district could lose funds."

Micah Kubic, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, released a statement denouncing the lawsuit. He claimed that Kobach "either inherently misunderstands the intent and impact of Title IX protections, or he purposefully misinterprets them."

"The U.S. Department of Education's rules require that schools guarantee that all students, including survivors of sexual harassment, LGBTQ students, and pregnant and parenting students, have full and equal access to educational opportunities regardless of sex," Kubic said.

"To Mr. Kobach, the issuance of the rule is an opportunity to advance his extreme agenda — but for Kansans who face sexual harassment and violence, this is about protecting their right to be safe in leaving their rooms, going to class, or getting help they need."

In late April, the Department of Education released a final rule, which defines the Title IX ban on "sex discrimination" to include "sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity."

The administration argues that these measures will "fulfill Title IX's protection for students, teachers, and other employees in federally funded elementary schools and secondary schools and postsecondary institutions against all forms of sex discrimination, including sex-based harassment and sexual violence."

"The final regulations will help to ensure that all students receive appropriate support when they experience sex discrimination and that recipients' procedures for investigating and resolving complaints of sex discrimination are fair to all involved," stated the final rule.

"These final regulations also better account for the variety of recipients and education programs or activities covered by Title IX and provide discretion and flexibility for recipients to account for variations in school size, student populations, and administrative structures."

The federal measure has been the subject of considerable litigation as the attorneys general in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho filed two separate lawsuits.  A motion was also filed on behalf of a 15-year-old female track runner and the Christian Educators Association International to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia.

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