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AG Bob Ferguson Defending Obama’s Executive Bathroom Mandates in Court

 

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is making news again. This time, he’s leading a group of twelve states in support of the Obama Administration’s use of executive fiat to prohibit schools and businesses from maintaining sex-separated facilities.

The bathroom directive mandates schools to allow students to use whichever showers, locker rooms, housing, changing facilities, and restrooms are consistent with their internal gender identity, regardless of their biological sex.

In May, officials from eleven states led by Texas filed a lawsuit against the federal government and Obama administration officials after federal officials threatened to withhold federal education funding from states and schools that refused to comply with the new directive.  An additional ten states joined together on a separate lawsuit a few months later in an effort to block the Obama Administration’s executive action, led by Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, on behalf of Washington State and eleven other states and Washington, D.C., filed an amicus brief today imploring the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to deny Texas’ request for an injunction to block the administration’s directive.

Writing in support of the new federal directive that opponents say undermines federalism and infringes upon states’ rights, Ferguson condescendingly speculated that the only possible reason for the states’ opposition to the bathroom directive is their “negative attitudes, misunderstandings, or misplaced fear about transgender people.”

Ferguson also asserted that “their [the states] allegations of safety risks are unsupported hyperbole.” In fact, according to Ferguson, the federal government’s bathroom directive will “overwhelmingly benefit the public.”

Attorney General Ferguson must be unaware of the rash of numerous unsettling incidents sparked by policy changes allowing anyone into whichever facility they choose. The University of Toronto temporarily suspended its policy allowing students to use the showers that correspond with their gender identity last fall after male students were accused of recording females showering in the women’s locker room.

Earlier this month, police in Idaho arrested a man, who identifies as a transgender woman, after he took pictures of a woman changing in a Target dressing room. Other similar incidents have occurred at Target stores in North Dakota, Massachusetts, Texas, and Ohio.

Join FPIW in our fight to restore sanity to locker rooms in Washington State!

Eleven States Sue Obama Administration Over ‘Transgender Facilities’ Mandate

 

The Obama administration’s use of executive fiat to prohibit schools from maintaining sex-separated facilities encountered its first national legal challenge today when nine states (Alabama, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, and Georgia) and officials from two other states (Maine and Arizona) sued the federal government and Obama administration officials.

At issue is the administration’s recent directive that has been decried by parents and students across the country, mandating that schools open their locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms regardless of biological reality.  In the lawsuit, the states labeled the president’s bathroom directive “radical,” arguing that the administration “conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for social experiments.” They also claim that the president’s bathroom directive, which was issued using executive authority and without a congressional vote, “flouted the democratic process.”

Administration officials concluded in the bathroom directive that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act requires schools to allow students to use whichever showers, locker rooms, housing, changing facilities, and restrooms are consistent with their internal gender identity, regardless of their biological sex. In a letter to school districts, the Departments of Justice and Education threatened to withhold federal education funding from school districts that refused to comply with the Administration’s new rules.

The administration’s interpretation contradicts the original intent and traditional interpretation of Title IX, which allows schools to protect the privacy of students by maintaining separate “facilities for the different sexes.” Even liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then a professor at Columbia Law School, wrote in a 1975 Washington Post editorial that because of privacy concerns, equal access and a prohibition on sex discrimination do not exclude separate facilities for changing and using the bathroom.

Officials from the eleven states that filed this lawsuit should be commended for listening to the voice of the people and pushing back against this blatant executive overreach.

It should be no surprise that Washington state, which has its own ongoing fight over bathroom access and privacy concerns, did not join the other eleven states and officials that filed the lawsuit today. The unelected Washington State Human Rights Commission issued a rule last December that prohibits businesses and other places of public accommodation from protecting the privacy of their patrons by ensuring that facility use is determined by biological sex.

Initiative No. 1515, which was filed in response to the Human Rights Commission’s bathroom rule, would repeal the rule and allow businesses, not unelected state bureaucrats, to decide their own bathroom policies.

Obama Administration Threatens to Cut Funding from North Carolina

Several Obama administration officials have announced that their respective agencies are reviewing whether or not to strip federal funding from North Carolina.

This action follows the legislature’s passage of a new law protecting women and children from predators in locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms.  Administration officials who have spoken out against the new law, which was signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, say that the new law could make North Carolina ineligible for federal funds, and have launched investigations to make that determination.

Speaking in Charlotte last week, Transportation Secretary and North Carolina-native Anthony Foxx said that the U.S. Department of Transportation is reviewing whether or not to remove $1 billion in annual funding to North Carolina, adding that he finds the new law to be, “really disappointing.”

U.S. Department of Education Spokeswoman Dorie Nolt said that the Department of Education has started a review as well, putting $4.3 billion in federal funding on the line. “We will not hesitate to act if students’ civil rights are being violated,” she said.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched a similar evaluation. “We’re reviewing the effects of the law on HUD funding allocated for North Carolina,” said Cameron French, a department spokesman.

Governor Pat McCrory has repeatedly reassured North Carolinians that the state’s federal funds are not in any danger, but attempts to strip the state of federal funding are an obvious attempt by the Obama Administration to bully North Carolina — and other states who make decisions for the benefit of their state — back into submission.

A legal memo released Tuesday by the Alliance Defending Freedom backs up Governor McCrory’s claim. “Under current law, neither states nor school districts will lose Title IX funding for enacting laws and policies that require students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their biological sex,” the memo states, adding that “no school district, university, or state has ever lost Title IX funding.”  Title IX’s regulations clearly state that “[a] recipient may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” [1].

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest said that he is “confident that we will continue to receive this federal money despite the threats from a few in Washington, D.C.”

This isn’t the first time that the Obama Administration has used federal money to achieve policy changes on a local level.  In Illinois, the Administration achieved the policy it wanted after it threatened to withhold federal dollars from a school district when it didn’t allow a student who was biologically male to enter the female facilities.

We stand with North Carolina and Governor Pat McCrory in their efforts to keep safety and privacy at the center of state policy.

North Carolina is just one of several states — including Washington — who are grappling with the issue of open-locker rooms. The Just Want Privacy campaign has been established to make sure that women and children don’t become victims of bad public policy, and are working hard to give Washingtonians a voice on this issue come November.  If you support safety and common sense in locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms, please consider lending your efforts to the campaign.

[1] 34 C.F.R. § 106.33

HISTORY: U.S. House and Senate Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood

In a historical fashion, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have agreed on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

The bill also repeals major key provisions of the Obamacare mandate.

See the House roll call vote | See the Senate roll call vote

This is the first time that a bill to Defund Planned Parenthood has passed both chambers; simultaneously, it is also the first time a bill stripping Obamacare provisions has passed both chambers.

While President Obama is likely to veto the bill, the passage of this bill sends a message that the American people are passionate about the protection of life and the protection of choice when it comes to insurance.

There is now hope that a similar bill will be signed into law with a new presidential administration in 2017.

U.S. House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood

The U.S. House voted Friday morning 240-189 to defund Planned Parenthood for one year by way of a reconciliation vote.  (Click here to see how your Congressman voted.)

Experts estimate that this bill being signed into law would reduce Planned Parenthood’s federal funding by almost 89% next year.  Votes on reconciliation bills are not subject to filibuster, meaning that a simple majority in each chamber passes the bill.  While this bill is likely to pass the U.S. Senate, President Obama is expected to veto it.

We will continue the fight to defund Planned Parenthood until the goal is accomplished, and we are grateful for the convictions of legislators around the United States who are committed to making sure this issue is raised continually until government’s sanction of the murder of innocent children is halted.

Sign the Petition to Defund Planned Parenthood!