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AG Derek Schmidt: Federal court blocks enforcement of Biden rules that threaten women’s sports

Release Date: Jul 18, 2022

TOPEKA – (July 18, 2022) – A federal district court has issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the Biden administration from enforcing its new, expansive and unlawful applications of federal law to transgender athletes and related matters of gender identity, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Late Friday, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee granted an injunction sought by Schmidt and 19 other state attorneys general halting enforcement of guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Education against the plaintiff states. The guidance purports to resolve highly controversial issues, such as whether schools must allow biological males to compete on girls’ sports teams, whether employers and schools may maintain sex-separated showers and locker rooms, and whether individuals may be compelled by the government to use another person’s preferred pronouns.

Schmidt said the federal court correctly recognized that the Biden administration was illegally attempting to expand the scope of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. The Bostock decision was narrowly focused on employment discrimination and did not address any of the issues covered by the EEOC and Department of Education guidance related to Title IX and Title VII.

“The federal court has recognized this illegal overreach by the Biden administration to unilaterally resolve these sensitive questions that are better addressed by elected representatives,” Schmidt said. “It is clear that the administration is determined to make sweeping one-size-fits-all policy changes without public comment or proper notice.”

Schmidt said the guidance from the federal agencies would in effect invalidate state laws across the country and could preclude states from legislating on certain subjects, such as separating sporting competitions by biological sex. 

Earlier this year, the Kansas Legislature passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Although that bill was vetoed by the governor, Kansas and the plaintiff states are fighting to ensure that federal bureaucrats cannot distort federal law to take these types of policy decisions away from elected officials in Kansas.

The federal court injunction prohibits enforcement of the guidelines in Kansas and 19 other states that filed the lawsuit. A copy of the federal court order is available at https://bit.ly/3uTCb2k.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.