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Federal judge bans Biden administration Title IX changes in six more states

Lawmakers in Utah listen to protesters in 2022. Associated Press/Photo by Samuel Metz, file

Federal judge bans Biden administration Title IX changes in six more states

“There are two sexes: male and female,” U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves wrote at the beginning of his Monday ruling temporarily blocking changes to the landmark women’s rights law from going into effect in six states. Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced new rules that would change how the federal government would interpret Title IX. Critics of the rule change say it includes provisions that block states, schools, and other institutions from protecting women’s spaces from men who claim to be women. Several state attorneys general have sued to block enforcement of the law, including Florida.

Just days before Reeves issued his decision, another federal judge blocked the new Title IX interpretations from going into effect in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho. Reeves’ decision adds Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia to that list of states.

How do these new Biden administration rules interpret Title IX? The Department of Education issued new rules in April that would, among other things, expand Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on so-called gender identity. Previously, Title IX had prohibited discrimination based on biological sex. The new rules require schools and other institutions to cooperate with individuals on how they identify their gender, regardless of whether that identity correlates to their body's biology.

What was Reeves’ reason for ruling how he did—beyond stating that there are only two genders? Reeves observed that the Biden administration’s new rules changing the interpretation of Title IX contradict the plain text of the statute and its original purpose, which seeks to protect women’s ability to participate in sports, education, and the workforce. He ruled that the Biden administration’s changes, which he described as capricious and arbitrary, would harm the states that sued the administration to keep the statute from being enforced. A 15-year-old girl and a group of Christian educators also sued, he noted.

Dig deeper: Read Kristen Waggoner’s column in WORLD Opinions about how changing Title IX opens spaces reserved for women to men.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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