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Federal Transgender Bathroom Access Guidelines Blocked by Judge
A federal judge on Sunday blocked the Obama administration from enforcing new guidelines that were intended to expand restroom access for transgender students across the country.
Judge Reed OConnor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas said in a 38-page ruling, which he said should apply nationwide, that the government had not complied with federal law when it issued directives which contradict the existing legislative and regulatory text.
Judge OConnor, whom President George W. Bush nominated to the federal bench, said that not granting an injunction would put states in the position of either maintaining their current policies in the face of the federal governments view that they are violating the law, or changing them to comply with the guidelines and cede their authority over this issue.
The judges order, in a case brought by officials from more than a dozen states, is a victory in the continuing legal battles over the restroom guidelines, which the federal government issued this year. The culture war over the rights of transgender people, and especially their right to use public bathrooms consistent with their gender identities, has emerged as an emotional cause among social conservatives.