Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: The Defense of Freedom Institute and the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho First to File Lawsuit Against Biden Administration Over New Title IX Rules

WASHINGTON—Today, the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI) and the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho filed the first in the nation lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s final Title IX regulations. The administration’s unlawful new rules undermine 50 years of progress for women and girls in education. DFI and the States filed their complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Monroe Division).

The U.S. Department of Education’s new regulations unlawfully contradict the text and purpose of Title IX by expanding the law, which prohibits discrimination in educational  programs and activities on the basis of “sex,” to include “gender identity.” To add to the confusion of the rules, the Department does not fully define the term “gender identity,” which puts educational institutions in the untenable, damaging position of deciphering what the Department means. Sex-separated intimate facilities, such as restrooms, showers, and locker rooms, and even athletics fields are now prohibited—a violent deviation from Title IX and years of agency interpretation and enforcement practice. The regulations will also lead to violations of religious liberty, due process, and free speech rights that will damage students, teachers, and schools.

“This is all for a political agenda, ignoring significant safety concerns for young women students in pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across Louisiana and the entire country,” said Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill. “These schools now have to change the way they behave and the way they speak, and whether they can have private spaces for little girls or women. It is enormously invasive, and it is much more than a suggestion; it is a mandate that well exceeds their statutory authority. This all coming from the people who don’t even know how to define the word ‘woman.’ I’ll always stand up for children and families across this state.”

Added Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, “Title IX has been a game-changer for generations of women. For more than fifty years, it has given young girls an opportunity to compete on a level playing field and offered them a fair chance to excel.  The Biden Administration’s pursuit of an extremist political agenda here will destroy these important gains.  What’s more, under this new rule, safe and private spaces for women to engage in healing, fellowship, and support will be torn away from them.  The Administration’s legal theories are novel, at best, and they cut legal corners to push them through, and we intend to defeat this rule in the courts.”

Said Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, “For 50 years Title IX has protected girls and women’s rights, but President Biden has abandoned those protections to appease the woke left.  This rule is not based in scientific reality. It undoes the definition of biological sex which will allow men to compete in women’s sports, violate women’s privacy, and put women and girls in dangerous situations on campus. I will continue to fight to protect women and uphold Montana’s laws against federal overreach.”

Added DFI President and Co-Founder Bob Eitel, “This is a suit to save Title IX. In defiance of the Constitution, the very purpose of Title IX itself, and decades of agency interpretation, the Biden administration’s overreaching regulations undermine 50 years of progress for women and girls in education. The rules are a textbook example of what happens when ideological extremists hijack a civil rights law to remake America’s schools and students in their image. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents owe a debt of gratitude to the four legal warriors—Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, and Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador–who are fighting for the schools and families in their states and across the country. DFI is honored to serve as co-counsel with them in this suit.”

To read the lawsuit, click here.

Additional Information

DFI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan legal advocacy and policy group focused on education and civil rights. It has a strong track record defending Title IX. In B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of EducationDFI filed an amicus brief arguing that West Virginia’s “Save Women’s Sports” bill does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Last year, DFI filed an amicus brief in Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools in support of four female athletes forced to compete against a male in girls’ high school track competitions. In The State of Tennessee v. U.S. Department of EducationDFI filed an amicus brief asserting the Biden administration does not have the legal authority to rewrite Title IX to include “gender identity.”