Sanity at Last: Trump Admin Scraps Transgender Bathroom Directive
Last May, the Obama administration saw what was happening in North Carolina with HB2 and recognized yet another opportunity to gain political favor with the far left. In addition to filing injunctions against the state and threatening to pull federal funding from North Carolina universities, the administration wrote up a directive aimed at every public school in the nation: Let transgender students use the bathroom and locker room facilities that match their gender “identity,” regardless of what their birth certificates say.
The directive, issued jointly by the Justice Department and the Department of Education, claimed that transgender students were protected by Title IX. This interpretation of the law was immediately rejected by Texas and 12 other states who filed suit against the administration, winning a temporary hold on the order.
Had Hillary Clinton been elected last November, her Justice Department would have almost certainly defended the Obama position in court. But last week, Donald Trump’s DOJ asked for a delay in the trial, a signal to many that this administration would walk away from the directive.
On Wednesday, that signal became a reality. The Trump administration announced that they were scrapping the federal guidelines and sending the issue back to the states. In a letter to the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General’s office said Obama’s directive did not “undergo any formal public process” and that lawyers for the administration had failed to explain how the guidelines were “consistent with the express language of Title IX.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the transgender bathroom issue was one that was best handled by local jurisdictions. “Schools, communities, and families can find – and in many cases have found – solutions that protect all students.”
In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions echoed that sentiment.
“Congress, state legislatures, and local governments are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue,” said Sessions. “The Department of Justice remains committed to the proper interpretation and enforcement of Title IX and to its protections for all students, including LGBTQ Students, from discrimination, bullying, and harassment.”
Opponents of the Obama directive argued that there was no way that Congress, in 1972, had transgender students in mind when devising Title IX legislation, therefore nullifying the decree. But even if the Trump administration stands on much firmer legal ground than the previous regime, LGBT activists claim this is a dark day for transgender children all across the nation.
“Reversing this guidance tells trans kids that it’s OK with the Trump administration and the Department of Education for them to be abused and harassed at school for being trans,” said Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers.
Well, that’s only true if you say the same about every other administration in U.S. history, including, for the first seven years, Obama’s.
But even then it isn’t true, since both Sessions and DeVos went out of their way to affirm this administration’s commitment to opposing discrimination and harassment.
Nothing can stop the LGBT blogosphere from creating new sexual identities out of thin air, and nothing can stop Americans from choosing those identities as they wish. But it’s absurd to demand special protections and rights for every invented “group” that comes off the radical left’s assembly line. Liberals will criticize this decision as a bigoted strike against human rights, but it is nothing more (or less) than a return to legal sanity.