University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Texas v. United States PA-TX-0001
Docket / Court 7:16-cv-00054 ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Public Accomm./Contracting
Special Collection Transgender Bathroom Access Cases
Case Summary
This lawsuit is part of the ongoing legal battle, across several cases, over allowing transgender individuals access to public facilities matching their gender identities. With eleven states joining together to challenge the DOJ, DOE, EEOC, and DOL over their interpretations of anti-discrimination ... read more >
This lawsuit is part of the ongoing legal battle, across several cases, over allowing transgender individuals access to public facilities matching their gender identities. With eleven states joining together to challenge the DOJ, DOE, EEOC, and DOL over their interpretations of anti-discrimination statutes, it represents the broadest challenge to date of the Obama administration’s position that transgender individuals should have access to bathrooms, changing rooms, and other public facilities and services that are in accordance with their gender identities.

The eleven states filed this suit in response to the heightened debate over transgender rights that began after the North Carolina passed House Bill 2 (HB2), on March 23, 2016. The law prohibited municipalities from enacting anti-discrimination policies, curtailed private right of action to enforce anti-discrimination statutes in state courts, required that in restroom and changing facility access in government buildings be restricted based on biological sex, and formally changed the definition of sex in the states anti-discrimination law to "the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person's birth certificate,” which prevents discrimination against transgender people from being classified as a type of sex discrimination. The law sparked widespread condemnation from progressives, and a lawsuit from the ACLU, in North Carolina It also prompted the DOJ to send a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on May 4, 2016, informing him that they believe the law violates federal law, and requesting that the governor agree not to enforce it. After McCrory responded to their letter with a lawsuit against the DOJ on May 9, the DOJ brought its own lawsuitlawsuit against North Carolina in the Middle District of North Carolina, arguing that HB2 violates Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Violence Against Women Re-Authorization Act (VAWA).

The lawsuit that the DOJ brought against North Carolina threatens the state with a potential loss of millions of dollars in federal aid if the state is found to be non-compliant with the statutes cited. The eleven states that are plaintiffs in this case feared similar action by the DOJ against themselves, and so on May 25, they filed this lawsuit against the DOJ and against all other agency rules and guidance stating that anti-discrimination statues require states to provide transgender individual access to public accommodations consonant with their gender identities. They filed their lawsuit in the Northern District Court of Texas, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 (Declaratory Judgement Act), 5 U.S.C. § 706 (Administrative Procedure Act), and 5 U.S.C. § 611 (Regulatory Flexibility Act). Specifically, they are asking the court to find that the agencies have violated federal law and the constitution, and to issue an injunction preventing the agencies rules, regulations, and guidance on the subject from having legal force.

This case is still in a very early stage of litigation. As of now, all that we have of substance is the plaintiffs’ complaint and amended complaint.

Ryan Berry - 06/16/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Federalism
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Bathing and hygiene
Bathrooms
Buildings
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Reasonable Accommodations
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) United States Federal Government
Plaintiff Description States and pbulic school officials within those states
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
7:16-cv-00054 (N.D. Tex.) 05/25/2016
PA-TX-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Letter on Transgender Students 05/13/2016
PA-TX-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Complaint [including exhibits 5,11,12] 05/25/2016
PA-TX-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 06/15/2016
PA-TX-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges O'Connor, Reed Charles (N.D. Tex.)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Nimocks, Austin R. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0001 | PA-TX-0001-0002 | PA-TX-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0003 | PA-TX-0001-9000
Lhamon, Catherine (California)
PA-TX-0001-0003
Lynch, Loretta (New York)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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