A federal judge has halted the Biden administration’s recent regulations extending rights to transgender and gay people in the workplace and schools, ruling that officials bypassed a necessary aspect of federal law before enacting such rules: giving the public notice of the regulation, allowing them to comment, and forcing the agency to respond.
A U.S. District Court Judge Charles Atchley Jr. agreed with twenty state attorneys general that the rules could infringe on states’ rights and may be interpreted as having been incorrectly drawn. Until a lawsuit over the modifications is resolved, they will not take effect, according to AP reports.
“The APA has a different set of rules for ‘legislative rules’ and ‘interpretive rules,’ which must be published through notice-and-comment rule making. The latter does not need to be published,” according to the court.
“A legislative rule that is not followed by the APA’s standards for issuing rules is invalid.”
“Notice and comment” gives concerned parties notice of potential legislation changes, as well as the opportunity to state their concerns—and it allows the agency a chance to avoid mistakes and make a more informed decision.
“Plaintiff States’ complaint alleges that the injury is already happening — their sovereign power to enforce their own laws is restricted by the issuance of Defendants’ direction, and they are under tremendous pressure to modify their state laws as a result,” The Trump-appointed judge stated in his decision.
The attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska , Oklahoma and South Dakota have sued to block the regulations.
“The order on sexual orientation discrimination was signed in June by the US Dept. of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” according to the AP, “after a landmark civil rights ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020 that protects gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals from workplace discrimination under a provision known as Title VII.”
The complaint is that Biden’s regulators are saying the US Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling requires new rights to be provided to transgender and LGBTQ individuals. That assertion, however, contradicts the actual ruling, which said that the ruling is limited in scope, implying that it can be applied outside of the specific situation, as demonstrated by the recent rulings.