08:34, February 22 136 0

2017-02-22 08:34:14


Trump to announce new transgender student protections today

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said yesterday that the Trump administration will issue new guidelines for how transgender students are treated in public schools.

The comments suggest that the Department of Justice and the Department of Education may rescind protections created during the Obama administration that allow transgender students to use the correct bathroom and protect them from discrimination in school.

When asked about rumors that the protections would be rescinded, Spicer said, “That is an issue that the Department of Justice and the Department of Education are addressing. I think that there will be further guidance coming from DOJ in particular with respect not just to the executive order but also the case that is in front of the Supreme Court.”

“The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states’ rights issue and not one for the federal government. So will there be further guidance coming out on this? I think all you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time. That this is not something that the federal government should be involved in. This is a states’ rights issue.”

Issued in the form of a letter, the Obama administration advised that schools “must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.” These guidelines were based on the Obama administration’s view that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972’s ban on sex discrimination included discrimination based on gender identity.

Several states have sued the Department of Education over the guidelines, and Trump’s announcement may immediately neutralize those lawsuits.

It might also affect the Supreme Court case of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia student who was told to use an old broom closet as a bathroom after his town’s school board banned him from using the boys’ room. The circuit court ruled in his case that he could sue, deciding that Title IX is ambiguous and deferring to the Obama administration’s interpretation. Without those administrative guidelines, though, his case has less of a chance of succeeding at the Supreme Court.

Similarly, Obama interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include a ban on discrimination against transgender people.

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