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Justice Department signals it may pull support for trans student protections

Justice Department signals it may pull support for trans student protections”

A Trump administration brief seeks to withdraw a request to stay an order against transgender student guidance.

In May, the Obama administration ordered public schools and most colleges that receive federal funds to provide adequate facilities for transgender students to use based on their gender identity.

-The Trump administration's decision to withdraw on Friday an Obama-era motion in federal court could signal a shift ahead in how the White House addresses transgender students and their bathroom rights in public schools, observers say.

A lawsuit filed past year by more than a dozen Republican governors challenged the order, bolstered by an injunction handed down in August by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor of Texas, who wrote that allowing transgender students to use gender-consistent facilities threatens the privacy of their peers.

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The oral arguments for the partial stay, originally requested in November 2016, were scheduled for Valentine's Day - February 14.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor had sided with the states and issued a temporary injunction blocking the guidance past year. Oral arguments in the case were scheduled for Tuesday in Austin.

"The parties are now considering how best to proceed in this appeal", both parties said in a joint filing with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, placed the blame of the brief seeking to undermine the transgender student protections squarely with Sessions. That injunction prohibited the feds from enforcing the Obama administration's view that existing civil rights laws cover discrimination against those who are transgender.

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The Trump administration-not a big fan of injunctions lately or being told what to do, period-is also obviously fine with legal restrains so long as they help pave the way for intolerance and inequity. That request came in response to a judge's ruling in a lawsuit challenging federal guidance to states on accommodating transgender students.

"While the immediate impact of this initial legal maneuver is limited, it is a frightening sign that the Trump administration is ready to discard its obligation to protect all students", stated Keisling.

"I think this should be a states' issue". The dispute involves Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student in Virginia, and the Gloucester County School Board.

But it is unclear what will happen if the administration's position on transgender students rights changes.

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The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans, Louisiana is the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Joshua Block of the American Civil Liberties Union, who is representing Grimm, said he believes the case still has grounds to move forward.



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