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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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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