As Schools Restart, Obama's Transgender Rule Is Blocked

Federal judge bars order on bathrooms
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2016 9:21 AM CDT
As Schools Restart, Obama's Transgender Rule Is Blocked
A new sticker designates a gender neutral bathroom at Nathan Hale high school Tuesday in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

President Obama's push to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice hit a last-minute roadblock Sunday just as schools across the US are reopening. A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the White House directive that came out in May ordering schools to let kids use whatever bathroom meshes with their gender identity, reports the AP. The preliminary injunction by US District Judge Reed O’Connor hands a victory to Texas and 12 others states that sued, and the ruling applies nationwide. Bloomberg reports that O'Connor made his decision on narrow technical grounds rather than on sweeping civil rights questions.

“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor declared. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this order.” O'Connor, appointed by George W. Bush, ruled that the White House didn't follow proper protocol in putting the directive in place, reports the Dallas Morning News. An attorney at LGBT rights group Lamda Legal doesn't sound worried: "One judge in a district court is simply a bump on the road." (The Supreme Court ruled against a transgender student in Virginia.)

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