Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a motion to halt enforcement of the Biden administration’s Title IX rewrite that allows boys into girls’ spaces, which is set to take effect in August.

In April, the Biden administration released a nearly 1,500-page rewrite of Title IX rules—the federal civil rights law designed to prohibit sex-based discrimination in education.

The new version would add “gender identity” as a protected class. It would also force schools to allow biological males to use female spaces. If a school refuses to comply, federal funding would be withheld. 

Nearly a week later, Paxton’s office filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, claiming the new rule conflicts with policies adopted by Texas school districts regarding sex-separated bathrooms and locker rooms, pronoun usage consistent with biological sex, and library materials and instructional resources.

Now, along with America First Legal, Paxton has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to postpone the final rule’s effective date while the lawsuit is ongoing.

The motion claims that the new rule illegally redefines Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination and the term “sex,” changes procedural safeguards in the Title IX grievance process, and relies on flawed reasoning for the changes. 

Additionally, Paxton states that if the rule takes effect, then Texas, its schools, and its citizens will suffer irreparable harm, saying that schools will lose federal funding for not complying with the new meaning of “sex.”

Texas, relying on the contemporary (and etymological) meaning of ‘sex’ when Title IX was enacted, adopted laws, policies, and procedures, and significantly invested in an entire infrastructure to implement its education systems. The Final Rule upends these important reliance interests and usurps Texas’s sovereignty by adding “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.”

“Texas is asking the court to put an immediate stop to Biden’s outrageous, unlawful assault on women’s rights,” said Paxton. “Biden cannot violate the Constitution to subvert Title IX protections for women in his effort to accommodate the fringe demands of ‘transgender’ movement activists.”

In addition to the lawsuit by Paxton, Gov. Greg Abbott directed government schools and public universities to ignore the Title IX rewrite. 

“As I have already made clear, Texas will not comply with President Joe Biden’s rewrite of Title IX that contradicts the original purpose and spirit of the law to support the advancement of women,” reads the letter Abbott sent to universities. “Last week, I instructed the Texas Education Agency to ignore President Biden’s illegal dictate of Title IX. Today, I am instructing every public college and university in the State of Texas to do the same.”  

Unless the court blocks the new rule, it will take effect on August 1, 2024. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.