Federal judge temporarily blocks transgender bathroom access guidelines


A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas [official website] on Sunday temporarily blocked [order, PDF] federal guidelines that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom according to the gender with which they identify. Judge Reed O’Connor found that the federal government overstepped its authority in issuing the guidance [press release] in May. A group of 13 states challenged the guidelines [JURIST report]. In his 38-page order granting the motion for preliminary injunction, O’Connor concluded that, “Defendants failed to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act by: (1) foregoing the Administrative Procedures Act’s notice and comment requirements; and (2) issuing directives which contradict the existing legislative and regulatory texts.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton welcomed the ruling [press release]. A spokesperson for the US Department of Justice said they are reviewing their options [NYT report].

Earlier this month the US Supreme Court blocked [JURIST report] a lower court ruling allowing a transgender student who identifies as male to use the boy’s restroom at school. In July US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced a new policy [materials] that allows transgender individuals to serve openly in the military [JURIST report], effective immediately. In May Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation that would ban transgender discrimination [JURIST report], including it within Canada’s hate crime laws.

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