University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Women's Liberation Front v. U.S. Department of Justice ED-NM-0002
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-00915-WPL-KBM ( D.N.M. )
State/Territory New Mexico
Case Type(s) Education
Special Collection Transgender Bathroom Access Cases
Case Summary
On August 11, 2016, the Women's Liberation Front ("WoLF") - an unincorporated association of radical feminists dedicated to the total liberation of women fighting to, among other things, end male violence, regain reproductive sovereignty for women, and preserve women-only spaces - filed this ... read more >
On August 11, 2016, the Women's Liberation Front ("WoLF") - an unincorporated association of radical feminists dedicated to the total liberation of women fighting to, among other things, end male violence, regain reproductive sovereignty for women, and preserve women-only spaces - filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. The plaintiff sued the Department of Justice alleging that the Department's May 13 Guidance, which requires schools to provide restrooms and locker rooms on the basis of sex, but allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity, violates the Administrative Procedure Act, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1872, and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the May 13 Guidance violates the express terms of Title IX, which provides women with their own facilities, by expanding the scope of the term "sex" beyond the biological definition of "sex" by equating "sex" with "gender identity."

On October 24, 2016, the DOJ filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. On October 31, 2016, WoLF filed a motion to stay, which was granted by Magistrate Judge William P. Lynch on November 2, 2016 pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., which will address the proper interpretation of Title IX and its coverage of trans students.

On November 18, 2016 the case was reassigned from the magistrate to U.S. District Court Judge James A. Parker. The Clearinghouse will provide updates as they become available.

Saeeda Joseph-Charles - 12/15/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
Sex discrimination
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description Women's Liberation Front ("WoLF"), an unincorporated association of radical feminists dedicated to the total liberation of women fighting to, among other things, end male violence, regain reproductive sovereignty for women, and preserve women-only spaces
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
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 ]

  Montgomery Public Schools
http://www.bazelon.org
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Blackman. v. District of Columbia
http://www.bazelon.org/blackman-v-district-of-columbia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  S.S. v. Springfield Public Schools
http://www.bazelon.org/springfield-massachusetts-school-system/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Doe v. Pasadena Unified School District
http://www.bazelon.org/doe-v-pasadena-unified-school-district/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  A.J. v. Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools
http://www.bazelon.org/a-j-v-cesar-chavez-public-charter-schools-et-al/
Date: 2017
By: Bazelon Center (Bazelon Center)
[ 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 ]

  Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Date: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:16-cv-00915-JAP-KBM (D.N.M.)
ED-NM-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
ED-NM-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/11/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berse, Farrah Robyn (New York)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Bookbinder, David (Virginia)
ED-NM-0002-0001
Coffey, Kendall Brindley (Florida)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Dietert, Zachary Alan (District of Columbia)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Ebenstein, Julie A. (Florida)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Kasdan, Diana (New York)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Marshall, Randall C (Florida)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Marziani, Mimi Murray Digby (Texas)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Rowland, Lee B. (New York)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Twohig, R. Raymond Jr. (New Mexico)
ED-NM-0002-0001
Weiser, Wendy R. (New York)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Ashley E. (Florida)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Nordby, Daniel E. (Florida)
ED-NM-0002-9000
Winship, Blaine H (Florida)
ED-NM-0002-9000

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