11 States File Lawsuit Over Obama Admin Trans Bathroom Guidance

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit at AmericasMart in Atlanta, Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Updated at 3:41 p.m. ET

Eleven states and officials filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration over guidance from the federal government on how schools should accommodate transgender students.

The lawsuit was filed in Texas, where state officials have been especially vocal in protesting the guidelines issued by the Education and Justice departments. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) confirmed earlier Wednesday that the state would file a lawsuit against President Obama.

Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia joined Texas in suing the Obama administration. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) in his capacity as governor, the Arizona Department of Education, and the Haber-Overgaard Unified School District in Arizona also joined the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also decries attempts by the administration to protect transgender people in the the workplace and challenges the Obama administration’s interpretation that Title VII and Title IX in the Civil Rights Act protect transgender people from discrimination.

“Defendants have conspired to turn workplaces and education settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights,” the lawsuit reads. “Absent action in Congress, the States, or local communities, Defendants cannot foist these radical changes on the nation.”

The lawsuit mentions the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against North Carolina over the state’s law barring transgender people from using the public restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, as well as the Obama administration’s May letter to schools about accommodating transgender students.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton introduced the lawsuit in a Wednesday afternoon press conference, arguing that the Obama administration is “creating new law outside the bounds of the constitution.”

Paxton told reporters that the state filed the lawsuit to protect the Harrold school district in Texas, which just passed a new policy on Monday requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate. Harrold ISD Superintendent David Thweatt joined Paxton at the press conference. Thweatt said that the “Obama administration is threatening to economically harm schools” who do not follow the new guidelines on accommodating transgender students.

Read the lawsuit:

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