Chris Schulz Published

Kentucky Court Halts New Title IX Rule

A soccer player readies to kick a ball across the field.Hero Images/Getty Images

A Kentucky court has halted a new federal rule that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. 

Judge Danny Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted an injunction against a Title IX rule issued by the U.S. Department of Education in April while the case of Tennessee v. Cardona progresses.

Since 1972, Title IX has barred education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating or excluding participants on the basis of sex. They risk losing that money if they violate Title IX.

In his injunction, Reeves says that the Department of Education “would turn Title IX on its head by redefining “sex” to include “gender identity.”

“As a general matter, Title IX’s antidiscrimination provision has remained unchanged since the statute’s enactment. 20 U.S.C. § 1681,” he wrote. “And until the last decade, Title IX was universally understood to equalize female access to educational facilities and programs by barring discrimination “on the basis of sex” at schools receiving federal funds. But then came the administrative state, lacking any real power to rewrite a law that Congress duly passed, with its bureaucratic cudgel.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey co-led a six-state coalition in suing the federal Department of Education and Sec. Miguel Cardona, challenging the rule change. One of the plaintiffs in the case is an unnamed Bridgeport High School student.

“This is a big victory for women and girls because the Title IX revisions being pushed by the Biden administration would have ended sex-based protections for biological women in locker rooms, bathrooms, sports and elsewhere, plain and simple,” he said in a press release announcing the ruling. “This is a retreat from the progress women have made.”

The decision comes just days after a similar ruling from a federal district court in Louisiana issued the first preliminary injunction against the new rule.