Judge Shopping Pays Off For Conservative Legal Trolls Again

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Why did conservatives file their challenge to the Obama administration's policy against transgender discrimination in Texas? Because they knew they could find a judge who would side with them.

Under the leadership of smirking schmuck Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, over a dozen states challenged guidelines handed down by the Departments of Justice and Education stipulating that discrimination based on gender identity is barred under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. has already sided with the Justice Department on the matter of transgender rights, but a federal judge in Texas has sided with the states.

Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee whose anti-LGBT reputation precedes him, concluded Sunday that Texas had a strong case regarding the privacy of non-transgender students, and that the guidance should be blocked while the case proceeds. The decision largely considers, however, whether the administration enacted the guidance through the proper procedure, and it was not a final decision on the merits of the case.

Judge O'Connor has temporarily blocked the Justice Department guidelines by making a procedural argument that barely disguises his sympathy for the "privacy" of cisgender students which is, frankly, a big load of horseshit.

To argue that the privacy of cisgender students must be protected from transgender students is just as nonsensical as if you had said their privacy must be protected from gay students. Discriminating against gay students is not allowed under federal law and neither is discriminating against transgender students as far as the Justice Department is concerned.

The conservative argument against transgender rights is a dead-end argument that could not possibly be upheld in justice system that has already concluded that bans against gay marriage violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Gay marriage and transgender rights obviously aren't the same thing, but the legal arguments both for and against them are very similar and I expect the latter will be upheld in the same manner.

As ThinkProgress points out, Judge O'Connor ruled against family benefits for gay couples just three months before the Supreme Court ultimately ruled against gay marriage bans.

His ruling is a temporary setback that will delight conservatives but harm transgender students.

Conservative legal trolls always turn to Texas for their opening salvo. They've turned to Texas for their challenges to gay marriage, Obamacare, environmental regulation, immigration, and now transgender rights. That should tell you something about the local judges.

  • ninjaf

    All this will do is fire up righty voters to go pull their lever for Trump in Novenber, because activist judges or something and Supreme Court noms.

  • muselet

    It’s expected that the Obama administration will immediately appeal.

    I should bloody well hope so. This Reed O’Connor needs to get slapped down, and quickly.


  • Aynwrong

    “That should tell you something about the local judges.”

    Louie Gohmert was a judge in Texas. Says it all.

    • Groundloop

      Something something aspersions something something asparagus.

  • Georgie