Texas AG Ken Paxton Sues Biden Admin Over New Title IX Rule to Mandate Gender Ideology

Jana J. Pruet
By Jana J. Pruet
April 29, 2024US News
Texas AG Ken Paxton Sues Biden Admin Over New Title IX Rule to Mandate Gender Ideology
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 23, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on April 29 against the Biden administration over a new rule that expands Title IX to include sexual discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

The lawsuit argues that the new rule “contorts protections for women” by forcing schools to allow males identifying as women to enter female-only spaces, such as restrooms and locker rooms, and to allow men to join female-only organizations.

“This rule violates existing federal law, ignores the Constitution, and denies women the protections that Title IX was intended to afford them,” the Texas attorney general’s office stated. “The Biden Administration has exceeded its authority and radically distorted the meaning intended by Congress when the law was made.”

Public schools refusing to comply could lose federal funding. The amendment issued on April 19 would apply to all public schools, including elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities.

The changes will also remove some stipulations established by the Trump administration, such as a tighter requirement for proving cases of sexual harassment.

“This regulation is an assault on women and girls,” former Education Secretary Betsy Devos wrote on social media platform X. “It makes it a federal requirement that boys be allowed in girls bathrooms in elementary schools. It makes it a federal requirement that men be allowed to play women’s sports, putting their safety, privacy and competitive opportunity at risk. And it makes it a federal requirement that feelings, not facts, dictate how Title IX is enforced.”

Title IX, a landmark civil rights law, was enacted in 1972 to protect against discrimination based on sex.

The law’s expansion is set to take effect in August.

President Joe Biden is making good on his campaign promise to expand Title IX. The amendment was proposed in 2022 but was slowed by a 30-day comment period that drew 240,000 responses.

Mr. Paxton argues that the Biden administration has “distorted” the meaning of discrimination as Congress intended when the law was made, forcing communities to adhere to “unscientific gender ideology” and putting girls and women at risk on school campuses.

“Texas will not allow Joe Biden to rewrite Title IX at whim, destroying legal protections for women in furtherance of his radical obsession with gender ideology,” Mr. Paxton said in a statement. “This attempt to subvert federal law is plainly illegal, undemocratic, and divorced from reality. Texas will always take the lead to oppose Biden’s extremist, destructive policies that put women at risk.”

America First Legal has joined Mr. Paxton’s lawsuit against the Biden administration’s attempt to “advance radical transgender ideology.”

“Biden’s new Title IX regulation is a vile obscenity: it forces women and girls to share locker rooms and restrooms with men,” America First Legal President Stephen Miller said. “It forces them to call a he, a she, and to pretend in every way that a man is a woman, humiliating, degrading, and erasing women.

“This is an abomination, and as outside counsel for Texas we will battle this regulation in court with all the legal fight we can bring. It must be defeated for the sake of American women and for the sake of our daughters.”

Proponents of the Title IX expansion applauded the Biden administration’s move, saying it will make schools “safer and more accessible for young people.”

“After years of pressure from students and survivors of sexual violence, the Biden Administration’s Title IX update will make schools safer and more accessible for young people, many of whom experienced irreparable harm while they fought for protection and support,” Emma Grasso Levine, a senior manager at the group Know Your IX, said.

Advocates also argue that the amendment preserves certain protections for students accused of misconduct.

In general, schools will be prohibited from disciplining accused students until they have been found responsible for the allegations made against them, although “emergency” removals may be allowed if it’s deemed a matter of campus safety.

The American Council on Education (ACE), which represents higher education institutions, also praised the changes.

“We applaud the department for providing some flexibility for institutions to decide how to evaluate allegations and assess the credibility of the parties,” the ACE wrote in a statement.

“Removing the current mandate requiring a live hearing with cross-examination for student disciplinary processes involving sexual assault complaints is a good thing. In too many cases, this requirement has turned those proceedings into adversarial, court-like tribunals, raising concerns about potential re-traumatization for survivors and creating an undeniable chilling effect on their willingness to come forward.”

However, the group was critical of the Aug. 1 deadline for compliance, which it said will cause hardship for “thinly staffed” institutions.

“The deadline for implementing this complex package of regulatory revisions, a year and a half after comments were submitted on the proposed rule, disregards the difficulties inherent in making these changes on our nation’s campuses in such a short period of time,” the ACE said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also promised to oppose the Title IX changes, accusing President Biden of abusing his constitutional authority.

“We are not gonna let Joe Biden abuse his constitutional authority to impose these policies here on us in Florida … we are not gonna let Biden get away with it,” the governor said in a video posted on X last week.

In 2022, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), joined by 11 other GOP senators, signed a letter addressed to the Education Department expressing concern that the new rules, “if finalized, would actually have the opposite effect of the law’s intent and further erode women’s equality, privacy, and safety.”

From The Epoch Times

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