Attorney General Paxton joined 22 attorneys general in a lawsuit filed against the Biden Administration’s new guidance on sex discrimination for schools and programs that receive federal nutritional assistance. The lawsuit names the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a defendant and was filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
On May 5, 2022, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services issued legally suspect guidance to Texas and other states announcing that discrimination on the basis of sex in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act includes discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. This put Texas’s Title IX and SNAP school lunch funding at risk.
In the lawsuit, the attorneys general argue the USDA’s Guidance is unlawful because it:
- was issued without providing the State and other stakeholders the opportunity for input as required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA),
- was premised on a misreading and misapplication of the Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County, and
- imposes new and unlawful regulatory measures on state agencies and operators receiving federal financial assistance from the USDA, which will inevitably result in regulatory chaos that threatens essential nutritional services to some of the most vulnerable citizens.
The National School Lunch Program services nearly 30 million school children each day, many who rely on it for breakfast, lunch, or both. On June 14, 2022, a coalition of 26 state attorneys general called on President Biden to withdraw USDA’s guidance that interpreted the statutory definition of “sex” in Title IX to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
To read the complaint click here.