Paxton sues over new federal LGBTQ+ protections in schools

Oh, look, his favorite judge is available.

A crook any way you look

Texas Republican leaders are pushing back on the Biden administration’s new rules that bar schools from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he would direct the state’s education agency to disregard the new rules, calling them a “ham-handed effort to impose a leftist belief.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton sued to block the policy, arguing that the U.S. Department of Education exceeded its authority and wrote an “arbitrary and capricious” rule that expands Title IX, a 1972 anti-discrimination law originally passed to protect women’s rights.

The department’s rules, announced earlier this month and finalized Monday, say school programs and activities must not discriminate against LGBTQ or pregnant students. Colleges and K-12 schools that don’t comply risk losing their federal funding when the rule takes effect in August.

The Biden administration issued similar guidance two years ago, but Texas and 19 other Republican-led states sued and convinced a federal judge to block the policy. The department’s newly finalized rules were delayed by a comment period that drew 240,000 responses, a record for the Education Department.

The rules clash with policies imposed by some Texas school districts, including in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, that separate school bathrooms and locker rooms by sex assigned at birth.

Texas has in the last few years also passed laws blocking transgender student-athletes from competing on teams that align with their gender identity, both at the K-12 and collegiate levels. The Biden administration rule does not directly address athletics.


The state’s suit was filed in federal court in Amarillo in conjunction with America First Legal, a law firm led by former Trump administration officials.

Paxton’s office did not respond to a request for comment on why the suit was filed in the Panhandle. His office has been accused of “judge shopping,” or strategically filing suits in districts where they are likely to be assigned to a judge viewed as ideologically aligned or more friendly.

Paxton has frequently filed suits against the Biden administration in Amarillo, where cases are all but guaranteed to go to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former attorney for a conservative religious liberties legal group who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump.

See here for more on the new rules, which I can’t imagine will survive contact with the legal nullification machine. For all of the correct and valid talk about Supreme Court reform, we really need to address this crisis of judge shopping, activist district court judges, and lawless appeals courts. We don’t have a working federal court system anymore, and it’s more extreme and farcical every day. As for Greg Abbott’s nullification, I keep asking myself what is the enforcement mechanism in cases where governors refuse to follow the law, and let’s just say that thought process doesn’t take you anywhere good. So, you know, cool cool cool. And you know what the answr is – we have to win more elections. There’s no other good way forward.

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One Response to Paxton sues over new federal LGBTQ+ protections in schools

  1. J says:

    So, open season to abuse vulnerable kids at the express direction of the Governor, who gets his marching orders from the billionaire religious nuts who own him and AG Paxton. What a wonderful place Texas has become.

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