President Joe Biden’s administration is shameless and heartless enough to tie federal school lunch funding to whether or not a school acquiesces to its new rules on gender identity.
Now, almost two dozen GOP-led states are fighting back.
According to The Hill, 22 states controlled by Republican attorneys general have filed suit against a rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would cut school funding for school lunches from the Food and Nutrition Service if the school doesn’t abide by new Title IX regulations on sexual orientation and gender identity.
That, the suit states, includes schools “that continue to separate students by biological sex in appropriate circumstances” — like locker rooms, bathrooms and showers, according to the Washington Times.
(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve noted the lengths the Biden administration is willing to go to enforce its transgender ideology on public institutions — no matter who it harms. Yet, whenever conservative media reports on it, Big Tech tries to strangle us of ad dollars. We’ll keep fighting to bring readers the truth, though — and you can help us by subscribing.)
In May, the USDA announced “it will interpret the prohibition on discrimination based on sex found in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 … to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” the department said in a media release.
In June, according to CNN, the Biden administration updated Title IX in the same manner. This means any educational institution which receives federal funding must allow students who identify as transgender to use the facilities of their choice.
Republican-led states mounted a legal challenge to the USDA’s threat to withhold federal lunch funding with a suit filed in a Tennessee court on Tuesday.
The suit, led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, said the guidelines are “based on a misapplication of U.S. Supreme Court precedents” and stated the Biden administration violated the rule-making process outlined under the Administrative Procedures Act, according to a press release from Slatery.
“This case is, yet again, about a federal agency trying to change law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” Slatery said.
“The USDA simply does not have that authority. We have successfully challenged the Biden Administration’s other attempts to rewrite law, and we will challenge this as well.”
“We all know the Biden administration is dead-set on imposing an extreme left-wing agenda on Americans nationwide,” Rokita said in a statement.
“But they’ve reached a new level of shamelessness with this ploy of holding up food assistance for low-income kids unless schools do the left’s bidding.”
Rokita’s statement said “that states never had opportunity for input on such a policy change” and that the “Biden administration’s actions will inevitably result in regulatory chaos that threatens essential nutritional services to some of Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens.”
As for Supreme Court precedent, the suit notes that the Biden administration has repeatedly cited the ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County as evidence it can add gender identity protections to Title IX without legislative input.
In that 2020 decision, the court ruled 6-3 that a gay man had his constitutional rights abrogated when he was fired for his sexuality.
However, writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch noted the ruling was limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, not Title IX.
Last month, both Rokita and Slatery were among 26 Republican state attorneys general that signed on to a letter criticizing the Biden administration over the prospective move; Slatery authored it.
“[B]y vastly expanding the concept of ‘discrimination on the basis of sex’ to include gender identity and sexual orientation, the Guidance does much more than offer direction. It imposes new — and unlawful — regulatory measures on state agencies and operators receiving federal financial assistance from the USDA,” the letter read.
The USDA, the letter said, “has passed off as a ‘clarification’ what is actually a rewrite of the law in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act.”
But this is the Biden administration. Using subsidized school lunches to force schools to acknowledge the untruth that boys can be girls and girls can be boys is a perfectly legitimate application of federal power now. The sad thing is, the sordid act of holding underprivileged children hostage to the administration’s gender ideology agenda has flown under the radar until now.
Let’s hope this suit puts an end to that, once and for all.
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