Judge blocks new Title IX rule in Idaho. Women 'will be protected,' AG Labrador says. - East Idaho News

Judge blocks new Title IX rule in Idaho. Women ‘will be protected,’ AG Labrador says.

  Published at  | Updated at
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready ...

(Idaho Statesman) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked a new rule from taking effect that would have barred discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in Idaho schools.

The preliminary injunction ruled in favor of a complaint filed by four Republican attorneys general, including Idaho’s Attorney General Raúl Labrador, over a new federal Title IX rule, which President Joe Biden’s administration said aimed to protect LGBTQ+ students. Labrador argued that the regulations undermined the purpose of Title IX.

The new Title IX regulations were slated to take effect in August and expand sex discrimination to include sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics and pregnancy or related conditions. The rule impacts K-12 schools and universities that receive federal funding.

Labrador in a news release said the new definitions would have a “profound impact on the advancements Title IX has made for girls and women.”

“I am grateful for this first-in-the-nation injunction on the Title IX rules, and that Idaho girls and women will be protected,” Labrador said in the release.

The decision, from U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty in the Western District of Louisiana, said the case “demonstrates the abuse of power by executive federal agencies.” In the injunction, the judge said the new rules could result in more discrimination against women and girls.

RELATED | Rep. Barbara Ehardt travels country on ‘Take Back Title IX Tour,’ promoting women’s-only athletics and private spaces

“The Final Rule only focuses on the ‘effect on the student who changes their gender identity’ and fails to address the effects on other students,” the decision read.

The Biden administration has said the regulations would help advance the purpose of Title IX. The U.S. Department of Education in the lawsuit argued that the plaintiffs hadn’t established “irreparable harm” and that the rule was a “clarification,” according to the order.

“For more than 50 years, Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a news release. “These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

The injunction applies only the to Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana. The ruling said the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their challenge. The injunction will be in effect until the court makes a final decision. Other challenges are pending.

Idaho passes laws targeting LGBTQ+ people

Over the past few years, the Idaho Legislature has passed a series of laws that target LGBTQ+ children and adults. Some of those laws are caught up in the legal system.

Idaho was the first state to bar transgender students from participating in sports in 2020. Since then, the Legislature has banned trans youth from accessing gender-affirming care, prohibited teachers from using a pronouns that differ from a students’ sex at birth without parent approval and banned Medicaid and state health insurance funds from being used for gender-affirming care.

The Legislature last year also passed a law that barred trans youth from using bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identities. The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily allowed Idaho’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors to take effect earlier this year.