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Federal appeals court blocks Title IX guidance challenged by 20 states, including Kentucky

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Federal appeals court blocks Title IX guidance challenged by 20 states, including Kentucky

Jun 20, 2024 | 5:46 pm ET
By McKenna Horsley
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Federal appeals court blocks Title IX guidance challenged by 20 states, including Kentucky
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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. (Photo by Getty Images)

The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled against Biden administration guidance on how schools should protect students from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The court ruled Friday that the guidance from the U.S. Department of Education is invalid, upholding a lower court ruling. Kentucky is among the 20 states that supported the challenge to the Title IX guidance. Former Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office filed briefs supporting the plaintiffs.

Most of the states in the case, including Kentucky, have bans on transgender athletes competing on school teams corresponding to their gender identity. The federal rules could have been at odds with those state laws or regulations, the plaintiffs argued. 

Republican Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, who was among the coalition of AGs, said the ban on transgender athletes “protects female students on the athletic field, as well as in bathrooms and locker rooms.” 

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Kentucky made a similar finding in a case brought by several GOP attorneys general, including Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman. That lawsuit is aimed at rules the Department of Education issued after issuing the guidance.

In a statement about that lawsuit, Coleman said the “ruling recognized the 50-plus years of educational opportunities Title IX has created for students and athletes.”