Alaska is part of a 20-state federal lawsuit to stop the Biden administration from imposing transgender mandates on public schools.
Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor signed onto the Tennessee-led suit that was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court. It maintains that the Biden administration has overstepped its rightful authority in telling schools to let biological males compete on girls’ sports teams and access girl’s showers and locker rooms. It also takes issue with federal guidance that suggests schools must use a person’s preferred personal pronoun, even if when it contradicts biology, in order to not jeopardize federal education funds.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, said the lawsuit addresses issues of “enormous importance.” In particular he said the federal guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Education purports to resolve highly controversial and localized issues that they have no authority to unilaterally resolve.
“This case is about two federal agencies changing law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” Slatery said. “The agencies simply do not have that authority. But that has not stopped them from trying.”
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The lawsuit says the two agencies have misconstrued the Supreme Court’s Bostock v. Clayton County decision from last year. Under that decision, employers cannot fire workers due to their gender identity or sexuality, and they must recognize a person’s gender identity.
The 20-state lawsuit argues that the Bostock ruling was narrowly focused to employment termination and did not restrict a school’s ability to maintain traditional same-sex bathrooms, showers and sports teams. Slatery noted that the Supreme Court specifically said it was not deciding those issues in its Bostock ruling.
“All of this, together with the threat of withholding educational funding in the midst of a pandemic, warrants this lawsuit,” he emphasized.
In addition to Tennessee and Alaska, attorneys general from the following states have also signed onto the lawsuit: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.