Federal judge in Texas rejects Biden’s Title IX amendments

Texas federal Judge Reed O’Connor ruled against Biden administration changes to Title IX Tuesday which would force local schools to allow gender dysphoric students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms or lose their federal funding, saying the administration “engaged in unlawful agency action taken in excess of their authority, all while failing to adhere to the appropriate notice and comments requirements when doing so.”

Biden’s move was opposed by a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states, including Kansas. The ruling doesn’t automatically apply to other states, but it does provide influential status for the case in other federal districts outside Texas.

Title IX was originally written to provide protections for women against sexual discrimination in public schools or education programs receiving federal funding. The original rule was 37 words; the Biden Administrations expansion, guaranteeing LGBTQ protections and requiring adherence to gender dysphoric identities and doing away with public hearings for those accused of sexual harrassment and assault, numbers some 459,000 words.

According to an article posted at The Hill written by Nick Robertson, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republian, and conservative groups commonly file suits in the Northern District of Texas, hoping to be assigned O’Connor, a nominee of former President George W. Bush. He was the judge who ruled in 2018 that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional and ruled in multiple cases that later became landmark Supreme Court decisions, including the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which enshrined the right to gay marriage.

O’Connor has ruled against Democratic presidents’ attempts to expand Title IX before, Robertson wrote. In 2016, he went against the Obama administration when it gave guidance that colleges and universities could not discriminate by sex, in a similar attempt to expand protections to transgender students. An appeal to his decision was rescinded when former President Trump came to office.

“The judge’s reasoning in Tuesday’s ruling, that the Biden administration went beyond its authority and did not allow correct time for comment, is the same as his explanation for the Obama administration decision,” Robertson wrote in the article. “O’Connor chastised the Biden administration, saying its guidance would “functionally rewrite” Title IX and ‘shockingly transforms American education and usurps a major question from Congress,'” Robertson wrote.

“That is not how our democratic system functions,” the judge wrote.

Paxton said examples of government federal overreach like Biden’s Title IX couldn’t be allowed to stand.

Joe Biden’s unlawful effort to weaponize Title IX for his extremist agenda has been stopped in its tracks,” Paxton said in a statement. “Threatening to withhold education funding by forcing states to accept ‘transgender’ policies that put women in danger was plainly illegal. Texas has prevailed on behalf of the entire Nation.”

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.