May 23, 2021
An Obama-appointed judge sided with the Biden administration’s radical transgender bathroom policy earlier this week.
The ruling comes after President Joe Biden signed an executive order in January titled, “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.”
The executive order reads in part:
Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. Adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation knowing that they will not be fired, demoted, or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes.
Following the order, the US Department of Housing and Urban and Development implemented a policy that clamps down on “Housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
In April, the College of the Ozarks filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration. The Christian college claims Biden’s executive order victimizes women and people of faith.
The college argues Biden’s order runs roughshod over its free speech and religious liberty. “The Directive compels the College to let biological males, based on their gender identity, use the shower and bathroom facilities in residence halls reserved for biological females,” the suit reads.
The lawsuit asserts the government cannot force a private religious school to put men and women into the same dorms.
But this week, Judge Ketchmark of the Western District of Missouri ruled against the college and declined to stop Biden’s transgender bathroom rule from going into effect.
Judge Ketchmark heard oral arguments from both sides for more than two hours Wednesday. In the hearing, Julie Blake, an attorney for the college, argued the directive was a “rule change” that was enforceable and the college wanted to address it prior to any complaint. Although a student has not yet filed an official complaint about the rule, Blake said “the college need not wait for an actual prosecution or enforcement action before challenging a law’s constitutionality.”
“The government cannot and should not force schools to open girls dorms to males,” said Blake. “Based on its politically motivated and inappropriate redefinition of sex.”
But James Luh, an attorney for the government, said HUD’s memorandum was “not directed at the college and does not specifically address the kinds of issues the college has raised here — showers, or roommates.”
Ultimately, Judge Ketchmark sided with the government and denied the institution’s request for a temporary restraining order and injunction against the transgender rule.
“After careful consideration of the law … the court denies the plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order and injunction,” she declared from the bench. “The court does find that the dispute is not justiciable.”
The judge plans to issue a written order as soon as possible, she said.
The Christian college was warned it may face six-figure fines if it violates the order.
Valorie Coleman, a spokesperson from the college, said the school will appeal.