Obama Fights Back in the Battle Over Where Transgender Kids Pee

The administration just appealed a Texas judge’s decision that blocked transgender students from their bathroom of choice.

Joe Belanger/iStock

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The Obama administration is pushing back against a ruling by a Texas judge that dealt a serious blow to its fight for transgender rights.

On Thursday, the Department of Education announced that it would appeal an August decision by US District Judge Reed O’Connor. O’Connor’s decision temporarily allowed schools across the country to block trans students from the bathroom of their choice until the courts decide whether doing so violates federal civil rights law.

The judge’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and 12 other states against the Department of Education, after the department threatened to pull federal funding from schools that did not allow trans kids to use bathrooms matching their gender identity, rather than the sex listed on their birth certificate. With its appeal, the Obama administration will take the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the country’s most conservative appellate courts.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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