The Trump Administration signals it may revisit the government’s position regarding whether transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of the sex with which they identify. In May 2016 the Obama administration informed schools that “schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status.” Pursuant to joint guidance issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice, schools were advised they should allow students to use bathrooms consistent with the gender they identify with, rather than their biological sex.
Thirteen states filed lawsuits contending the Obama administration was wrongly trying to redefine sex discrimination under Title VII and Title IX. A federal district court agreed in August 2016 issuing a nationwide temporary injunction which prohibited the federal government from enforcing the directive. In November 2016 the federal government sought a partial stay of the nationwide injunction arguing the injunction shouldn’t apply to states that were not challenging the directive. Less than one month into the new administration, on February 10, 2017, the Department of Justice withdrew its request for the partial stay, indicating that the “parties are currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal.” Stay tuned for further developments in this case. Subscribe to this blog, BALANCEview, to have regulatory updates delivered to your inbox.