Late Sunday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor sided with Texas and 12 other states in their lawsuit against the Obama administration’s directive that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice by placing a temporary hold on the ruling.
Judge O’Connor in essence said the directive was not interpretive of existing law but a mandate that was extralegal.
“The Guidelines are, in practice, legislative rules — not just interpretations or policy statements because they set clear legal standards,” Judge O’Connor wrote. “Although Defendants have characterized the Guidelines as interpretive … their actual legal effect prove that they are ‘compulsory in nature.’”
The judge said the proper procedure is to issue a proposed regulation and then allow public commentary on it, following the Administrative Procedures Act.
The directive, with the threat of withholding federal funds from schools that didn’t comply, was issued by the Departments of Justice and Education in May. That same month the collective lawsuit was filed.