Court Rules Against Biden Administration’s Title IX Gender Identity Mandate

Gage Skidmore


A federal judge has halted President Biden’s expansion of Title IX, declaring the mandate for gender identity protections an overreach of executive power.

Why It Matters

This decision is pivotal in ensuring that federal agencies do not overstep their boundaries and that legislative changes are enacted through proper channels.

Who It Impacts

The ruling impacts educational institutions, students, and federal agencies, influencing how discrimination laws are applied and interpreted.

In a significant judicial decision, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty blocked President Biden’s attempt to expand Title IX to include gender identity protections. The ruling, issued on Thursday, called the administration’s changes a “threat to democracy” and an “abuse of power.”

Judge Doughty’s decision grants a preliminary injunction against the expansion in four states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho. He criticized the Biden administration’s unilateral modifications to Title IX, a longstanding civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools and educational programs. “The separation of powers and system of checks and balances exist in this country for a reason,” Doughty stated in his ruling.

The judge pointed out that the term “gender discrimination” in the original Title IX legislation, enacted in 1972, referred solely to biological males and females. He argued that the recent changes introduced by the Biden administration are inadmissible because they expand the definition to include gender identity and sexual orientation, which were not contemplated at the time of the law’s passage.

Under the Biden administration’s revised rules, sex discrimination would encompass discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. This broader definition aimed to provide additional protections for LGBTQ+ students, ensuring that they receive equal treatment in educational settings. The administration planned for these changes to take effect on August 1.

Critics of the expansion argue that it could undermine protections for women and girls, particularly in areas such as locker rooms and bathrooms, which would be required to accommodate individuals based on their gender identity. They contend that these changes could disrupt the integrity of female-only spaces and compromise safety and privacy.

Advocates for the LGBTQ+ community, however, have praised the proposed changes, asserting that they are essential for safeguarding transgender students from discrimination and ensuring they have recourse if schools fail to protect their rights. Under the expanded Title IX, schools would be mandated to respond to instances of discrimination based on gender identity, and students who are not adequately supported could seek help from the federal government.

This ruling highlights a broader conflict over the role of federal agencies in interpreting and enforcing civil rights laws. The decision underscores the necessity of adhering to the constitutional framework that governs the separation of powers and the legislative process.

The debate over the interpretation of Title IX reflects deeper societal divisions regarding gender identity and the scope of protections under civil rights laws. The court’s ruling serves as a reminder that significant policy changes must be carefully examined and implemented through the appropriate legislative channels to ensure they align with the original intent of the law and respect the established balance of governmental powers.