Another Federal Judge Halts Biden Admin’s Title IX Expansion


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A U.S. district judge has issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Texas and Montana, blocking the federal government’s effort to extend Title IX protections to include gender identity, an issue that has implications for the 2024 presidential election.

The ruling is just the latest federal court decision in a series where judges have temporarily stopped changes to Title IX that would expand its coverage to include protections and services for transgender individuals the original statute was never meant to address.

Judge Jeremy Kernodle determined that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cannot compel state healthcare providers to offer gender-affirming care under threat of losing federal funding. This decision aligns with the broader judicial pushback against expanding Title IX regulations to include provisions for gender identity, The Epoch Times reported on Saturday.

In May 2024, HHS issued a press release on its Final Rule, which expanded the definition of Title IX protections in 2016 to include “discrimination based on the basis of gender identity” to fit in with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

But Title IX was initially established in 1972 to protect women from discrimination in public education, and Kernodle noted that in his ruling.


“When Congress enacted the ACA in 2010, no agency—or court—had ever interpreted ‘on the basis of sex’ to mean ‘on the basis of gender identity,’” the judge wrote. “But in 2016, HHS began to do so, issuing a rule purporting to implement Section 1557 and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of ‘gender identity.’”

The outlet’s report noted further:

Texas and Montana, two states that exclude gender-affirming care procedures from their Medicaid programs and prohibit doctors from performing them on minors, sued HHS, arguing that the federal health department has no authority to mandate that the states adhere to these revisions.

HHS said in its press release that the regulations were updated to prevent “dehumanizing beliefs” surrounding medical treatments and conditions such as gender dysphoria.

“The Department will approach gender dysphoria as it would any other disorder or condition,” HHS said in its Final Rule. “If a disorder or condition affects one or more body systems, it may be considered a physical or mental impairment.”


However, the judge wrote that the Final Rule was an “absurd” policy that would prevent healthcare entities from limiting certain medical services to one sex, such as prostate exams that are typically exclusive to males. Additionally, the rule would permit individuals who identify as female to access “female-exclusive facilities,” including shared hospital rooms, which has stirred controversy and debate.

“As applied to state-sponsored insurance plans like Medicaid and CHIP [Children’s Health Insurance Program], the Final Rule has the effect of requiring states to pay for ‘transition’ and other ‘gender-affirming’ procedures,” he said.

Kernodle noted in his ruling, as previous federal judges have, that the two states demonstrated that they would suffer extreme financial harm for violating the rule. Both receive billions in federal funding, he wrote, which would “likely be withheld for violating the Final Rule,” he wrote.

“The loss of such funding for Medicaid and CHIP would devastate these programs and their beneficiaries,” he said.


In the case of Kansas v. U.S. Department of Education, a federal judge decided that the Department of Education could not enforce its expanded definition of sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation, The Epoch Times noted.

Previously, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders defied the new Title IX rules in a May executive order.

“The government should celebrate, not erase, sex differences by providing proper protections for them,” the order said. It also states that the Biden administration “has rejected reality and chosen to appease their left-wing base over students’ safety and best interests.”

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