May 8, 2024

Arkansas, Missouri sue over Biden admin expansion of LGBTQ+ student protections

Arkansas' Attorney General Tim Griffin speaks from a podium.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin. Screenshot courtesy office of attorney general.

Led by Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin and Missouri AG Andrew Bailey, six GOP states have filed a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration's recent changes to Title IX, which expand protections for LGBTQ+ students.

Why it matters: School districts across the U.S. may have to decide if they'll comply with federal regulations while conflicting with their state's position on a key civil rights law dating back to 1972.

The big picture: Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota are named as plaintiffs in the suit, along with Amelia Ford, a female athlete and minor from Brookland, Arkansas.

Flashback: Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order last week prohibiting the state from following the new Title IX rules.

Catch up quick: The new federal rule protects against "discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics." The law had been more narrowly applied under guidance from former President Trump's administration, Axios' Sareen Habeshain writes.

What he's saying: Title IX "has been about opening opportunities for women, not shutting them down," Griffin said at a press conference announcing the suit.

  • He claimed the changes are arbitrary and capricious, and that the law needs to go through Congress to be changed.
  • "If you want to change the law, there's a process for that, as outlined on Schoolhouse Rock, and it's on YouTube," Griffin said.

The bottom line: The revisions to Title IX are scheduled to take effect Aug. 1.


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