A district court judge in Texas has temporarily blocked President Obama's controversial transgender bathroom directive for public schools mandating that they allow boys who identify as female to go into girls' bathrooms and locker rooms.
In May, Texas and 11 other states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its directive that said students in public schools could use the facilities of their chosen gender identity rather than their biological sex.
On Sunday, Judge Reed O'Connor of the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction on the Obama directive, siding with the Texas-led lawsuit.
"Defendants are enjoined from enforcing the guidelines against plaintiffs and their respective schools, school boards, and other public, educationally-based institutions," decided O'Connor.
"All parties to this cause of action must maintain the status quo as of the date of issuance of this order and this preliminary injunction will remain in effect until the court rules on the merits of this claim, or until further direction from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals."
In May, the Obama administration issued a directive stating that transgender students could use the public facilities of their choice, interpreting Title IX's language regarding sex to include gender identity.
In defense of the directive, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement accompanying the order to schools that the measure was meant to protect transgender students.
"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," said Attorney General Lynch.
"This guidance gives administrators, teachers, and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies."
The directive incurred extensive backlash from several state governments and school boards that took issue with the federal government issuing such a sweeping order.
Soon after the directive was issued, Texas filed a complaint in district court and was joined by Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
"Plaintiffs include a diverse coalition of states, top state officials, and local school districts, spanning from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, and from the Grand Canyon to the Grand Isle, that stand behind the singular principle that the solemn duty of the federal executive is to enforce the law of the land, and not rewrite it by administrative fiat," read the complaint.
"Defendants have conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights. Defendants' rewriting of Title VII and Title IX is wholly incompatible with congressional text. Absent action in Congress, the states, or local communities, defendants cannot foist these radical changes on the nation."
Regarding O'Connor's injunction, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement that he was "pleased" with the decision.
"This President is attempting to rewrite the laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people, and is threatening to take away federal funding from schools to force them to conform," said Paxton.
"That cannot be allowed to continue, which is why we took action to protect states and school districts, who are charged under state law to establish a safe and disciplined environment conducive to student learning."