Morrisey hoping for bathroom injunction response before school year

By Matt Maccaro in News
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says an injunction he sought with 12 other states last week on the federal transgender “bathroom” directive should have some weight moving forward.

Morrisey sent a letter to all 55 county school boards vowing to help defend local school systems in court should the federal government threaten to defund them. Morrisey said he was hoping to get an answer on the injunction before school starts up in about a month.

“Many Attorneys General and other individuals across the country believe that the Obama administration has acted unlawfully,” Morrisey said. “As such, we’d like to get legal certainty on this issue before the school year.”

In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond famously sided with a transgender teen in Virginia, ruling that transgender students should have access to the bathrooms or facilities which match their “gender identity” and not their biological sex.

But Morrisey said despite the landmark ruling, the federal directive is still unlawful.

“In the Obama school directive that came out in May, they issued this new guidance without notice and proposed rule making. They did not go to Congress to try to change the statute,” he said. “They’re trying to change the longstanding definition of the word ‘sex’ which has always been thought of from a biological perspective, and then graph the term ‘gender identity’ into it.”

Legal council would be provided to local school districts should a lawsuit arise in West Virginia, promised Morrisey.

“We plan to intervene in any action against a local school district to try to assert that this directive from the Obama administration is unlawful. We want to work with the local school districts to ensure they have the right council that they don’t have to pay for.”

The directive threatens funding to local school districts that refuse to admit students to the bathrooms, locker rooms, dormitories and athletic teams of their choice.

“It seems fairly clear to us that there could be a potential loss of school funding, and we don’t want to put local school districts in West Virginia in a bad position. We’d like to get that relief,” Morrisey said hoping for a ruling before school begins.

A lawsuit was filed May 25 in the Northern District of Texas contesting the federal directive.