Universities In Tennessee & Other Red States Tight-Lipped On Judge’s Blocking Of Biden’s Title IX Revision

Rulings block addition of gender identity to Title IX.

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By Tate Miller, Liberty University for The College Fix

As Biden’s Education Department appeals a ruling blocking its pro-transgender rewrite of Title IX, universities affected by the decision remain tight lipped.

The College Fix reached out three times to nine universities located in all 10 of the states affected by the blockings. Campus media relations departments as well as Title IX offices at the institutions did not respond to requests for comment.

Only the University of Kentucky responded, saying it will follow the ruling.

“We are aware of the court’s order and will, of course, respect it,” Jay Blanton, chief communications officer at the University of Kentucky, told The College Fix via email. “As these matters have been the subject of litigation, we would respectfully decline further comment at this time.”

The universities affected are in states led primarily by Republicans: Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Idaho, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Biden’s rewrite of Title IX, the “Final Rule,” which takes effect on Aug. 1, adds gender identity to the federal law. The change would allow female-identifying men into women’s locker rooms and bathrooms and require others to address them with their preferred pronouns.

Two federal judges in June have since ruled against that interpretation: Judge Terry Doughty of Louisiana and Judge Danny Reeves of Kentucky.

“The Final Rule redefines ‘sex discrimination’ to include gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotypes, and sex characteristics,” Doughty wrote.

According to Doughty, Biden’s rewrite “preempts state law to the contrary; requires students to be allowed to access bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity; prohibits schools from requiring medical or other documentation to validate the student’s gender identity; requires schools to use whatever pronouns the student requires; and imposes additional requirements that will result in substantial costs to the school.”

Judge Reeves wrote “there are two sexes: male and female.”

Biden’s “new rule contravenes the plain text of Title IX by redefining ‘sex’ to include gender identity, violates government employees’ First Amendment rights, and is the result of arbitrary and capricious rulemaking,” according to Reeves.

Seeking comment on the rulings, The Fix reached out to Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Mississippi, Montana State University, Boise University, University of Idaho, University of Louisville, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Indiana University, Purdue University, Liberty University, George Mason University, and West Virginia University and received no comments.

Higher Ed Dive reported that “Louisiana’s lawsuit argued that the department overstepped its authority in finalizing the regulations and that they violate Title IX itself by infringing on women’s protections.”

The department said it was reviewing the ruling prior to its appeal and that it “‘stands by’ the final regulations, which conservative states have challenged,” Higher Ed Dive reported.

In response to Judge Doughty’s ruling, the U.S. Department of Education filed an appeal.

“Notice is hereby given that Defendants United States Department of Education…appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from the Court’s June 13, 2024,” Memorandum Ruling and Judgment “granting Plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunction,” members of the Department of Education wrote in their notice of appeal.

The Fix called the offices of Judge Reeves and Judge Doughty. Judge Reeves’ office declined to comment, while Judge Doughty was out of office.

Inside Higher Ed reported that “over all, 26 state attorneys general, all Republicans, are challenging [the new Title IX] regulations.”

A Supreme Court ruling issued last week on the “Chevron deference” that claws back federal administrative powers on how to interpret laws is expected to also help states’ wield more authority in fighting the department’s interpretation of Title IX.

*Note: Article Republished on The Tennessee Conservative by express permission from The College Fix.

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