Senator Lankford Statement on Court Ruling on Public School Bathrooms and Locker Rooms

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today released the following statement on the Northern District of Texas U.S. District Court’s decision to block President Obama’s guidance directive on the use of public school bathrooms and locker rooms by transgender students:

“I’m pleased that a judge has blocked, yet again, another executive overreach from the Obama Administration, this time regarding public school bathrooms and locker rooms. As my office has repeatedly stated, President Obama’s directive on public school bathrooms and locker rooms did not follow proper procedures for creating new regulations or law, just as the President has done on immigration, environmental regulations, and many other issues. Congress has spoken out on these issues, I am glad that the courts have spoken out as well. 

“No school wants any student to be bullied or discriminated against, but the Department of Education does not have the authority to operate as a national school board and impose their specific solutions on every district. Federal guidance documents should simply make regulations more clear, not create more uncertainty and regulatory control. The Administration’s attempt to force their ideology outside of the legal requirements, and their blatant disregard for the rule of law must stop.”

Senator Lankford has repeatedly challenged the Department of Education’s inappropriate use of ‘Dear Colleague’ letters and ‘guidance’ directives to mandate policy for schools without adhering to the legislative process or transparent regulatory process. Legal experts and law professors have agreed with Lankford’s criticism of the Department of Education. As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, Lankford held a June hearing on the topic, in which several regulatory experts affirmed the Obama Administration’s abuse of regulatory guidance directives. Senator Lankford is planning to hold a hearing on this matter with the Department of Education in September.