Attorney General Morrisey Declares Victory, Withdraws Transgender Lawsuit

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey declared victory and, in conjunction with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, withdrew their coalition’s 13-state lawsuit against former President Obama’s transgender directive.

The coalition’s withdrawal came in exchange for the U.S. Department of Justice ending its appeal of a nationwide injunction. Both moves follow President Trump rescinding his predecessor’s directive, which threatened federal retribution against local school districts that refused to admit students to the bathrooms, locker rooms, dormitories and athletic teams of their choice.

“This is a tremendous victory against federal overreach,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This victory reaffirms the prominent role local school districts and boards of education should have in deciding what is best for their students without fear of federal backlash.”

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Texas, yielded the nationwide injunction in August 2016. The coalition argued the Obama-era guidance sought to unilaterally and unlawfully change the word “sex” in several federal laws from that based on biology, which has existed for decades, to include a person’s self-professed gender identity.

The Attorney General had previously sent guidance to West Virginia and county education officials explaining that President Obama’s directive was both unlawful and non-binding. A week ago, the Attorney General sent a follow-up letter affirming his guidance in the wake of President Trump’s announcement.

West Virginia brought the lawsuit with Texas and officials from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. They were joined by two local school districts in Arizona and Texas.

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