October 20, 2016 at 10:56 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
DOJ appeals ruling against trans student protections

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The U.S. Justice Department has appealed a ruling against trans student guidance.

The U.S. Justice Department appealed late Thursday a federal court ruling against Obama administration guidance barring schools from discriminating against transgender students, including in bathroom use.

The ruling came from down from U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor two months ago as the result of litigation Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed against the guidance on behalf of 12 states.

At the time of the ruling in August, the Justice Department didn’t appeal the decision right away. Instead, the department sought clarification on whether the order applies nationwide and to all administration work against anti-transgender discrimination.

One day after O’Connor issued a clarification affirming the ruling applies nationwide, not just in the 12 states that filed the lawsuit, the Justice Department filed a notice of appeal.

The two-page notice of appeal is signed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, Benjamin Mizer, who’s gay, as well as attorneys in the Justice Department.

The federal court that handed down the order is Texas, so the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the appeal.

The litigation is the result of 12 states suing the Obama administration for guidance issued in May warning schools that discriminating against transgender students, including denying them access to the restroom consistent with their gender identity, amounts to discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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