The U.S. Department of Justice on
Thursday appealed a federal ruling blocking federal guidance on
student transgender bathroom use.
After the Obama administration in May
advised school districts to allow students to access bathrooms based
on their gender identity, Texas and 11 other states sued, claiming
that allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their
choice would turn schools “into laboratories for a massive social
In August, U.S. District Judge Reed
O'Connor issued a preliminary injunction, which maintains the “status
quo” nationwide until the lawsuit is settled. O'Connor said in his
ruling that there was a strong likelihood that the states will
prevail in their lawsuit.
O'Connor disagreed with the federal
government's assertion that transgender people are protected from
discrimination under Title IX. The term sex in the law refers to
“the biological and anatomical differences between male and female
students as determined at their birth,” O'Connor wrote.
On Wednesday, O'Connor clarified that
his order applies nationwide, not just in the 12 states that filed
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will
hear the appeal.