AUSTIN, Texas – A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked an Obama administration directive on bathroom rights for transgender students in U.S. public schools.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth issued the preliminary injunction Sunday.
Texas and 12 other states asked O’Connor to halt the directive after the federal government told U.S. public schools in May that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.
The lawsuit was filed in May by Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia, and the Republican governors of Maine, Mississippi and Kentucky, Politico reports.
That announcement came days after the Justice Department sued North Carolina over a state law that requires people o use public bathrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificates. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had likened that law to policies of racial segregation.
Republicans have argued such laws are commonsense privacy safeguards.
“This injunction is the first step to preventing the Obama administration from holding hostage every single school district, nationwide. The executive fiat passed down by the Department of Education and Department of Justice threatened the Title IX funding that Oklahoma schools, as well as all others across the nation, depend on. The thinly veiled threat is first and foremost unlawful, as we will continue to prove in court.” said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.