“Unfathomable cruelty is the point.”
On Tuesday attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia filed a lawsuit, led by Tennessee attorney general Herbert Slatery, over the USDA announcing in May that discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation will now be considered a violation of Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in “any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
As part of that announcement, the USDA said that state and local agencies that receive federal funding, which includes schools participating in the national school-lunch program, must update their policies and signage and investigate allegations of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And that was apparently just a bridge too far for these GOP A.G.s.
Republicans—including those on the Supreme Court—have made it abundantly clear that they want to strip the federal government of the power to govern. So this lawsuit fits in nicely with that goal. But it’s also clearly a two-for-one for these attorneys general, as it also aligns with the right’s anti-LGBTQ+ agenda.
Responding to the bizarre charge by Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts’s claim that the Biden administration is “attack[ing]” Title IX by saying its protections extend to trans kids, the ACLU of Nebraska wrote:
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