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Trump administration won't pursue Obama transgender school bathrooms edict in court

The brief, filed in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, came as part of a long-running suit by 12 states opposed to Education Department guidance issued past year directing the nation's public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

But now, Trump's administration has officially withdrawn the government's objection.

Then, in a joint request with the states challenging the policy, the states and the Justice Department both requested that the oral arguments on that issue be removed from the court's calendar. Under the Obama administration's interpretation of the law, transgender students must be given access to bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Just one day after the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General, the Justice Department filed a motion withdrawing its previous request for a partial stay of a preliminary injunction that bars the federal government from enforcing Obama-era educational guidelines requiring transgender students to be treated according to their gender identity under Title IX. And some states, like California, have state-level anti-discrimination laws that include transgender students.

President Donald Trump will not continue efforts by former President Barack Obama to ensure transgender students enjoy discrimination-free learning environments.

"After being on the job for less than 48 hours, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his intent to undermine the equal dignity of transgender students", said the group's president, Chad Griffin.

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The Fifth Circuit has granted the request from the Justice Department to cancel oral arguments in the case initially scheduled for February 17.

For now, transgender students won't be largely affected by the Justice Department's withdrawal. In the August ruling, Judge O'Connor agreed with the 13 states and issued a temporary injunction.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said the Justice Department has taken a "welcome first step". "Equality California will use every measure at its disposal to ensure that federal nondiscrimination protections remain safe from attack and that all students are equally protected by the U.S. Constitution". And it does nothing to allay fears prompted by a draft of an executive order on "religious freedom" that was leaked to the press earlier this month.

Virginia student Gavin Grimm, who sued to use the boys bathroom at his school, has succeeded so far in federal courts with that argument. Oral arguments in the case were scheduled for Tuesday in Austin.

The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse in New Orleans, Louisiana is the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

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