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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 an 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 antidiscrimination ... read more >
This lawsuit is part of an 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 antidiscrimination 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 antidiscrimination policies, curtailed private right of action to enforce antidiscrimination 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 state's antidiscrimination 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 not enforce it. After McCrory responded to their letter with a lawsuit against the DOJ on May 9, the DOJ brought its own lawsuit against North Carolina in the Middle District of North Carolina, arguing that HB2 violated 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, 2016, they filed this lawsuit against the DOJ and against all other agency rules and guidance stating that antidiscrimination statutes 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 asked 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.

The judge issued an order granting the preliminary injunction on August 21, 2016. 201 F. Supp. 3d 810. The order found that the action was reviewable and plaintiffs had standing. The judge also held that the Department of Education was not entitled to deference because Title IX was not ambiguous and referred to biological sex. The district court further clarified the preliminary injunction on October 18, 2016, ruling that the injunction did apply nationwide. 2016 WL 7852331. The preliminary injunction and clarification were appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 21, 2016 (Docket No. 16-1534).

The district court denied a stay on the injunction on November 20, 2016, finding that the defendants were unlikely to succeed on appeal and suffered no irreparable harm. 2016 WL 7852330.

After the change in presidential administrations, the DOJ and DOE issued new guidance that withdrew the previous guidance on transgender access to public facilities. That guidance can be found below. On March 2, 2017, the government filed an unopposed motion to withdraw the appeal, which was granted. The case was dismissed in the district court without prejudice on March 3, 2017.

Ryan Berry - 06/16/2016
David Smellie - 04/19/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Federalism
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
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 Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) United States Federal Government
Plaintiff Description States and pbulic school officials within those states
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2016 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Dear Colleague Letter [rescinding prior letters relating to bathroom access for trans students]
U.S. Department of Education
Date: Feb. 22, 2017
By: Sandra Battle & T.E. Wheeler (U.S. Department of Education)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. [Scotusblog page]
Scotusblog.com
Date: Feb. 7, 2017
(Scotusblog)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  G.G. V. Gloucester County School Board -- ACLU's Case Page
ACLU
Date: Oct. 16, 2016
By: ACLU (ACLU)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students
www.ed.gov
Date: May 13, 2016
By: Catherine E. Lhamon and Vanita Gupta (U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students
www.ed.gov
Date: May 2016
By: United States Department of Education (United States Department of Education)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
7:16-cv-00054 (N.D. Tex.)
PA-TX-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Letter on Transgender Students
PA-TX-0001-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/13/2016
Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Complaint [including exhibits 5,11,12] [ECF# 1]
PA-TX-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/25/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 6]
PA-TX-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/15/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Preliminary Injunction Order [ECF# 58] (201 F.Supp.3d 810) (N.D. Tex.)
PA-TX-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/21/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 86] (2016 WL 7852331) (N.D. Tex.)
PA-TX-0001-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/19/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Appeal [ECF# 88]
PA-TX-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/20/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 100] (2016 WL 7852330) (N.D. Tex.)
PA-TX-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/20/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs-Appellees' Motion for Extension of Time to File Appellee's Briefs [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-48]
PA-TX-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Unopposed Motion for Voluntary Dismissal
PA-TX-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Unopposed Motion for Voluntary Dismissal [Ct. of App. ECF# 67]
PA-TX-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i) [ECF# 128]
PA-TX-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [dismissing appeal] [Ct. of App. ECF# 129]
PA-TX-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges O'Connor, Reed Charles (N.D. Tex.)
PA-TX-0001-0006 | PA-TX-0001-0007 | PA-TX-0001-0009 | PA-TX-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brnovich, Mark (Arizona)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Carr, Christopher M. (Georgia)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Hacker, David J. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Hunter, Mike (Oklahoma)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Keller, Scott A. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0004
Landry, Jeff (Louisiana)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Leonie, Andrew D. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Marshall, Steven T. (Alabama)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0004 | PA-TX-0001-0010
Morrisey, Patrick (West Virginia)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Nimocks, Austin R. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0001 | PA-TX-0001-0002 | PA-TX-0001-0010 | PA-TX-0001-9000
Paxton, Ken (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0004 | PA-TX-0001-0010
Reyes, Sean D. (Utah)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Schimel, Brad D. (Wisconsin)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Slatery, Herbert III (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Starr, Brantley D. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Stonedale, Joel (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Toth, Michael C. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-0010
Defendant's Lawyers Berwick, Benjamin Leon (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0008 | PA-TX-0001-9000
Bickford, James (Massachusetts)
PA-TX-0001-0008
Dover, Marleigh D. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0005 | PA-TX-0001-0012
Flentje, August E. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0005 | PA-TX-0001-0012
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0003 | PA-TX-0001-9000
Lhamon, Catherine (California)
PA-TX-0001-0003
Lieber, Sheila M. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0008
Lynch, Loretta (New York)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Mizer, Benjamin C. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0008
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0005 | PA-TX-0001-0012
Ricketts, Jennifer (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0008
Sandberg, Jeffrey E. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0005 | PA-TX-0001-0012
Stern, Mark B. (District of Columbia)
PA-TX-0001-0005 | PA-TX-0001-0012
Other Lawyers Castillo, Paul D. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Copsey, Alan D. (Washington)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Galindo, Marie Eisela (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Thomas-Jensen, Molly Anne (New York)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Tripp, Karen Bryant (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Upton, Kenneth D. (Texas)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Young, Ezra (New York)
PA-TX-0001-9000
Younger, Cally Ann (Idaho)
PA-TX-0001-9000

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