As we previously reported to you, on August 21, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted an injunction enjoining the federal government from enforcing the terms of its May 13, 2016, “Dear Colleague Letter” on the rights of transgender students. Subsequently, the Department of Justice has filed both a Notice of Pending Litigation and a Motion for Clarification regarding this injunction.
The Notice of Pending Litigation is a list of cases currently pending in federal courts around the country related to the rights of transgender individuals. The Notice of Pending Litigation states that the United States government believes that all of the cases listed “fall outside the scope of [the] prohibitions” provided in the August 21, 2016, preliminary injunction. In other words, the federal government claims that the injunction has no effect on these pending cases.
Shortly thereafter, on September 12, 2016, the United States government filed a Motion for Clarification of the Court’s Preliminary Injunction Order and Unopposed Request for Expedited Consideration in response to the August 21, 2016, preliminary injunction ordered by the Northern District of Texas.
The government notes that “the terms of the order entered by the Court could be read to extend well beyond the appropriate scope of potential relief. The Court should clarify that its order does not extend so broadly.” The government specifically requests clarification of five issues:
- “The Court should clarify that the Preliminary Injunction is limited to addressing the plaintiffs’ allegations of harm;
- The Court should clarify that the Preliminary Injunction does not limit defendants’ ability to urge other courts to adopt their interpretation of Title VII and Title IX, including in courts that already have accepted that interpretation;
- The Court should clarify that the Preliminary Injunction does not limit the enforcement of anti-discrimination statutes outside of the plaintiff states;
- “The Court should clarify that the Preliminary Injunction does not enjoin any activities or programs of the Department of Labor;
- The Court should clarify that the Preliminary Injunction does not enjoin the EEOC from fulfilling statutory duties necessary to protect the rights of individuals alleging discrimination.”
The government requested a ruling on the Motion for Clarification by October 3, 2016.
Multiple lawsuits relating to transgender students are still pending and HLERK continues to follow and report on those cases and the legal issues surrounding transgender students.
Please contact Michelle Todd, Stephanie Jones, or Kaitlin Atlas with your transgender student inquiries and the most up-to-date information.