On July 15, Eastern District of Tennessee Judge Charles Atchley Jr. temporarily blocked the Education Department's Title IX guidance, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, Politico reported.
Atchley said the agency's guidance "directly interferes with and threatens Plaintiff States' ability to continue enforcing their state laws" that restrict transgender people from playing on sports teams and using bathrooms that match their gender identity.
A coalition of 20 Republican attorneys general is being led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery. They have argued their states face a "credible threat" of losing significant federal funding due to their policies and laws.
The Education Department, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Justice Department, along with their leaders, are listed as defendants. They had urged the court to dismiss the lawsuit, which Atchley denied.
In a press release Windy City Times received, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Interim President Joni Madison said, "We are disappointed and outraged by this ruling from the Eastern District of Tennessee where, in yet another example of far-right judges legislating from the bench, the court blocked guidance affirming what the Supreme Court decided in Bostock v. Clayton County: that LGBTQ+ Americans are protected under existing civil-rights law.
"Nothing in this decision can stop schools from treating students consistent with their gender identity. And nothing in this decision eliminates schools' obligations under Title IX or students' or parents' abilities to bring lawsuits in federal court. HRC will continue to fight these anti-transgender rulings with every tool in our toolbox."