Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced at a press conference Wednesday the state’s decision to file a lawsuit against President Obama’s directive to force public schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.
The New York Times reports that while the directive is not legally binding, it does contain “an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.”
Texas’ lieutenant governor said previously that the state is willing to forfeit the $10 billion it receives in federal education funding rather than comply. “President Obama has excluded the voice of the people. We stand today to ensure those voices are heard,” said Paxton.
Paxton accused the Obama administration of rewriting the law. “This represents just the latest example of the current administration’s attempts to accomplish by executive fiat what they couldn’t accomplish through the democratic process in Congress.”
“Defendants have conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights,” the lawsuit states.
Ten other states have challenged the directive involving transgender bathroom rights, also filing lawsuits, they include: Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona and Georgia.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also criticized the federal government’s involvement in transgender bathroom rights, commenting at a recent book signing that the Obama administration is “trampling” the Constitution.
Earlier this month he tweeted: “JFK wanted to send a man to the moon. Obama wants to send a man to the women’s restroom. We must get our country back on track.”
The Obama administration argues that restricting transgender individual’s access to the restroom of their choice is discriminatory.
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.