2021 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt sues Biden administration to stop enforcement of new guidance threatening women’s sports

Release Date: Aug 30, 2021

TOPEKA – (August 30, 2021) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the Biden administration from enforcing new, expansive and unlawful interpretations of federal antidiscrimination laws.

The complaint, filed by 18 states in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Tennessee, challenges federal guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Education. The guidance purports to resolve highly controversial issues such as whether schools must allow biological males to compete on girls’ sports teams, whether employers and schools may maintain sex-separated showers and locker rooms, and whether individuals may be compelled to use another person’s preferred pronouns.

The federal agencies claim that the guidance, issued under Title IX and Title VII provisions of federal education and civil rights laws, simply implements the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. However, that decision addressed employment discrimination and did not address any of the issues covered by the guidance. The lawsuit argues that the federal agencies have no authority to unilaterally resolve these sensitive questions, let alone to do so without providing the public with notice and an opportunity to comment.

Schmidt said the guidance from the federal agencies would in effect invalidate state laws across the country and could preclude states from legislating on certain subjects, such as separating sporting competitions by biological sex. 

“Earlier this year, the Kansas Legislature passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, and that bill was vetoed by the governor,” Schmidt said. “This lawsuit is aimed at ensuring unelected federal bureaucrats cannot distort federal law to take that type of policy decision away from elected officials in Kansas.”

The lawsuit accuses the EEOC and Department of Education of changing federal law, an authority reserved to Congress, and misconstruing the Supreme Court’s decision by extending it far beyond what the court actually ruled. It further alleges the attempts to change requirements for federal funding did not follow the Administrative Procedures Act.

The attorneys general are asking the federal court to declare the EEOC and Department of Education guidance invalid and unlawful and to prohibit their enforcement. A copy of the lawsuit can be found at https://bit.ly/3kD2L9R.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.