Federal Judge Blocks Tennessee Transgender Bathroom Law Temporarily

Photo: Judge Aleta A. Trauger of Tennessee’s Middle District

Photo Credit: Vanderbilt Law

Published July 12, 2021

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

On Friday, a federal judge placed a temporary block on Tennessee’s newly passed transgender bathroom law.

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

The law, which went into effect on July 1, requires that businesses post signs if they allow transgender individuals to use the restroom of their choice instead of the restroom of their biological gender.

The block was issued by Judge Aleta A. Trauger of Tennessee’s Middle District. This block allows law enforcement officials to temporarily halt all enforcement of the law.

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Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union, along with its Tennessee chapter, filed a federal lawsuit. Their complaint argued that the new law is “unconstitutional” and that it violates businesses’ First Amendment rights “against compelled speech.”

Trauger said in her order that no one can tell others what they must say at any time.

“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein,” she stated.

“That rule is not founded simply on an abstract love of unfettered and uncompelled speech,” she continued. “The First Amendment holds its privileged place in our constitutional system because, ‘whenever the Federal Government or a State prevents individuals from saying what they think on important matters or compels them to voice ideas with which they disagree, it undermines’ both ‘our democratic form of government’ and the very ‘search for truth’ necessary for a thriving society to persist.”

“Because that principle retains its vitality today, and because the law at issue in this case is a brazen violation of it, the court will grant the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.”

Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, praised the judge’s decision.

“We are glad the court saw that this law is likely unconstitutional and hope that the state gives up the wasteful effort to defend discrimination and a violation of the First Amendment,” Weinberg stated.

The attorney general’s office issued a statement saying they are reviewing the decision and will refrain from giving further comment at the moment.

Casey Black, spokesperson for Governor Lee, said, “We do not comment on pending litigation.”

Prior to the lawsuit, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk had already announced his plans to ignore enforcement of the law. His comments drew opposition from State Representative John Ragan of Oak Ridge, who said they were “more than marginally offensive to the concept of constitutionally ordered government.”

Republicans have countered that the law does not discriminate against transgender individuals and that it does not keep anyone from using the restroom of their choice. They say, instead, that it is meant to protect individuals’ privacy.

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About the Author:

Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative 

Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

11 thoughts on “Federal Judge Blocks Tennessee Transgender Bathroom Law Temporarily

  • July 12, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Why would TN. even allow transgenders to go into a bathroom that was not for their born sex??? Has TN. gone crazy. If this is what the governor is going to do and put up signs so sick people who decide they are a girl can go in with little girls when they are a male and use the bathroom then he might need to go. TN is a Christian state or it was. Letting this go on is totally wrong. On top of that a government telling a business how to run their business is also totally wrong. If I own a business and decide not to let people like that in my place to use the bathroom that is MY!!!! business not the Federal government nor the state governments business. We are allowing ourselves to loose to many of our freedoms in this country. Pretty soon we will have no country at all if this crap keeps up!!!

    • July 13, 2021 at 8:23 pm

      As a fellow Christian I agree wholeheartedly. However, putting up signs would tell us which stores to not give our business to would they not? Would you rather be unpleasantly surprised or know which businesses are allowing transgenders to use a restroom of their choice so you can avoid going there? If I am not mistaken I would say that was the governor’s thinking on this. A lot of yankees have moved here in recent years and I daresay it is not doing good things for our state. I too am a ‘born’ yankee. Little did I know my heart & soul were always in the South!! God Bless You and Tennessee friend.

  • July 12, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    I have to say that I must agree with the Judge and her 1st Amendment comments.

    However, I can always go into a restaurant and ask the owners if they are allowing trannies to use the restroom of their choice, or even more specifically if they are letting trans men use the women’s restrooms.

    If they are not, then great. If they are…then I won’t spend any money in their establishment. And I will tell them why I am not.

    • July 13, 2021 at 8:27 pm

      I must respectfully disagree on the grounds that there are a lot of things we are not allowed to say anymore because it has been labeled as “Hate Speech” or might offend someone. I don’t think the First Amendment should apply to the use of signs. How about the state posting Speed Limit, No U-Turn or other road signs. I think this should fall into the same category as “Necessary Information” to consumers. “Warning: Tobacco Use Can Be Hazardous To Your Health.” How about banning this while we’re at it? NO! I vote for the signs. You would be very lucky to even catch the owner of most businesses there when you went in!

  • July 12, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Guess who appointed Judge Trauger?
    a) FDR
    b) HST
    c) JC
    d) WJC
    e) BHO
    f) JB

  • July 12, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Dont know her or never before heard of her but today she is my BFF. I ran into a man in the ladies restroom. Apparently he identified himself as a female, (according to the desk clerk at a Pilot Truck stop. It was late afternoon. I was the only other woman in there and was frightened to say the least. I stayed locked in my stall until he left. However, I carry a straight razor in my purse…

    • July 13, 2021 at 8:29 pm

      You should swap that straight razor for a .380 or 9mm handgun, get a carry permit, and never feel fearful again! Just sayin.

  • July 12, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    As a woman I DON’T WANT TO SHARE A BATHROOM WITH A MAN. Why can’t they just create a transgender bathroom just for them??

    • July 13, 2021 at 8:32 pm

      Precisely! That was my first thought on the matter. However, doing so would cost the business a lot more that a couple of signs. This is why I don’t understand their objection because as a Christian Conservative, if I were in the State Legislature, that would be my next move. If you object to posting signs in your place of business then just give them their own bathroom. Oops!! Is that discrimination? Well, the Bible DOES say…

  • July 13, 2021 at 12:06 am

    I feel as though this is j another sick, perverted win for the transgenders and homosexuals as well as child molesters who wish to expose themselves to children and the opposite sex without reprocussion. The bathroom or dressing room of females is no place for a man. Just as the bathroom and dressing room males is no place for females. I cannot for the life of me understand why these people cannot understand that they will be their birth gender until the day they die. U can’t change it. U can change the face of it. Dress it up. Put makeup on it. Even take drugs and have surgery to help mask it but the bottom line is. If you’re born w a penis and testicles, you’re a boy. If you’re born with a vagina and a uterus you’re a girl. J bcuz these people speak something, doesn’t make it so. U can’t j speak something into existence and these judges and mayor’s need to stop playing God and allowing this perversion to control everything. These people aren’t happy with who they are themselves so they want to make everyone else miserable with their drama and perversions by shoving down everyone else’s throats and forcing people to like what they are and what they do. We don’t care about you’re sexual preferences. So keep that BS to yourselves. Why do u people feel the need to force everyone to acknowledge your sexuality. It’s unnecessary. Leave us alone. Live your lives and stop destroying ours and our country. Damn !!!!!!

  • July 13, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    As a Christian Conservative I disagree with the Judge’s decision and I stand 100% with Governor Lee and the others. First; the reason I disagree with the decision: I see this as being no different that businesses being required to make certain accommodations for handicapped folks or the state, city or county posting Speed Limit, No Parking or other signs aimed at keeping people safe. I do not think being required to post a couple of signs violates free speech!

    I do have a suggestion however; If they so object to a couple of $5.00 signs, try to pass a law requiring businesses to give transgenders their own restroom. That way they won’t have to worry about anything because the way it is now, Transgender people along with straight people will have to worry about which businesses they can safely go into and which ones they cannot. This will become a Huge problem for all and I see bad things coming.


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