A few hours before students returned to school, a federal judge in Forth Worth, Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Sunday that blocked the government's recent order mandating that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathrooms, showers and locker rooms of their preference.
Twelve states including Texas have sued the Obama administration over the rule from May. Granting their case, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor wrote that the Obama administration's order failed to give proper notice of the order under the law and issued directives that "contradict the existing legislative and regulatory texts."
The judge added that the stoppage of the rule won't affect states that have no problem with it. "Those states who do not want to be covered by this injunction can easily avoid doing so by state law," the judge added.
O'Connor also wrote that the ruling was procedural, not a judgment on the broader policy itself. "The resolution of this difficult issue is not, however, the subject of this order," he wrote.
Lawyers at the Department of Justice have framed the rules as non-binding guidelines that conform with anti-discrimination laws already on the books.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who requested that the local Harrold Independent School District join the multi-state lawsuit, celebrated the injunction on Monday.
"This president is attempting to rewrite the laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people, and is threating [sic] to take away federal funding from schools to force them to conform. That cannot be allowed to continue," Paxton said.Follow Brendan James @deep_beige