The Corner

Texas, Tennessee, and Nine Other States Challenge the Obama Administration’s Transgender Edict

The legal counterattack against the Obama administration’s latest round of lawlessness is now under way. Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, and eight other states filed suit today in Texas to block enforcement not just of the administration’s latest “Dear Colleague” directing publicly-funded colleges and schools to treat “gender identity” as a protected class under Title IX, but of multiple unilateral actions that have dramatically expanded the scope of both Title IX and Title VII. 

The Complaint itself outlines much of what my colleagues and I have reported in National Review. Congress has never expanded Title IX or Title VII to include sexual orientation or gender identity as additional protected classes. Indeed, it has explicitly declined to do so. Moreover, the drafters of Title IX specifically and unequivocally indicated that it was not intended to prohibit schools and colleges from maintaining sex-segregated bathrooms and living facilities. 

Rather than persuading Congress and the American people that legal change was necessary, the administration attempted to circumvent constitutional process by executive fiat — without even bothering to go through the formality of a public notice-and-comment process. It just declared the change, and now seeks to enforce the change.

As the case winds its way through the courts, it’s far from clear that the administration will have unanimous support from the legal Left. As I note in my post below, already brave liberal voices from elite law schools have raised questions about the Obama administration’s tactics. And those with foresight know that executive power, once expanded, is difficult to contain. A President Trump could issue his own edicts, and then the Left would suddenly rediscover it’s love for the separation of powers and the rule of law.

In the meantime, Texas and its allied states are once again on a collision course with the Obama administration, and this case — like its challenge to executive amnesty — looks destined for the Supreme Court. Congress has failed to adequately protect its prerogatives, but when Congress fails to lead at least we know we can count on the Lone Star State. Thankfully, America’s checks and balances extend far beyond Washington D.C. 

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More

In Defense of Tulsi

Some years ago, a liberal-minded friend of mine complained during lunch that Fox News was “stealing” his elderly parents. “They should be enjoying retirement,” he said, noting that they live in a modest but comfortable style with attentive children and grandchildren to enjoy. “But instead,” he sighed, ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More

Not Less Religion, Just Different Religion

The Pew Poll tells us that society is secularizing -- particularly among the young -- and who can deny it? That is one reason that the free expression of religion is under such intense pressure in the West. But it seems to me that we aren't really becoming less religious. Rather, many are merely changing that ... Read More