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Conservative Courts Poised to Strike Down Landmark Transgender Student Protections

Conservative courts poised to block new transgender student protections (Credits: The Hill)

“A legal showdown is brewing between the Biden administration and over a dozen Republican-led states over new Title IX regulations that aim to protect transgender students. The states have filed four federal lawsuits arguing that the regulations are “plainly illegal” and undermine protections for cisgender students.

The new regulations, set to take effect on August 1, would prohibit discrimination based on se*xual orientation and gender identity in schools and education programs that receive government funding.

However, the states argue that the regulations would prevent them from enforcing laws that bar transgender student-athletes from competing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

Supreme Court is under pressure to step into the debate (Credits: CNN)

Legal experts say the lawsuits, filed in largely conservative courts, could block the regulations from taking effect. “The timing and sheer number of courts that have been invoked here stack the odds against the Biden administration,” said Josh Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law Houston.

The regulations would also bolster nondiscrimination protections for pregnant students and change how schools handle claims of se*xual harassment and assault.

The Biden administration has yet to comment on the lawsuits. Still, an Education Department spokesperson emphasized that schools are obligated to comply with the regulations by August as a condition of receiving federal funds.

Conservative states challenge federal rule (Credits: Vox)

LGBTQ advocates say preventing the regulations from taking effect would deal a huge blow to transgender students, especially in the South, where most of the lawsuits were filed.

“By bringing these lawsuits, state officials are actively working to avoid compliance with nondiscrimination law that would ensure a safer environment for their students,” said Brian Dittmeier, director of public policy at GLSEN.”

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