Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton believes that there’s a problem with the Obama administration’s guidelines on transgender students: The government’s stance will allow trans people to flip back and forth between genders as they please.
The AG appeared on Fox & Friends Wednesday, where Paxton spoke with the program’s Brian Kilmeade about recently announced federal policy that advises school districts across the country to allow trans youth to use public restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity. This position is spelled out in a 25-page document that will be sent to schools, spelling out “best practices.”
“This guideline [sic] doesn’t address any particular problem,” Paxton told Fox News. “They have not been very specific about what they’re trying to solve. This opens the door with all kinds of issues with men deciding one day they want to be women and then switching back the next day.”
Texas is one of 11 states — including Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, and West Virginia — suing the Obama administration for its support of trans students, and these states may soon be joined by Mississippi. Paxton explained to Fox News this issue shouldn’t be the executive branch’s to decide. Policy should be left up to either local school districts, teachers, and administrators or the federal legislature.
“The problem here is that the law is the law, and if you want to change the law, it shouldn’t be the president, it should be Congress,” Paxton said. “Our argument is that this is a political battle, and it shouldn’t be determined by one person in the White House.”
The AG, who is currently being investigated on three counts of felony fraud charges, follows a Texas tradition of suing the federal government. Paxton's predecessor, Greg Abbott, “sued the Obama administration more than two dozen times when he was attorney general, a pace that his successor... has kept up since taking office last year,” reports Fort Worth TV station KXAS. Since vacating the attorney general's office, Abbottt now serves as the governor of Texas.
This isn’t the first time, in particular, that Paxton has appeared on Fox News to condemn the Obama administration's trans student guidelines. In a May 15 discussion with Tucker Carlson, he called them “vague and unconstitutional.” “They don’t have the authority to change [these policies],” Paxton said. “I can tell you: The people of Texas are not for this.”
Earlier in the year, Paxton also challenged a federal court ruling in Virginia that sided in favor of a male transgender student who wanted to use the men’s bathroom in his local high school. In response to that decision, seven states filed an amicus brief to voice their disapproval.
Paxton clarified his reasoning in filing the brief in a press release. “One’s sex is a biological fact, not a state of mind,” Paxton stated. “If this radical new interpretation by the Department of Education is permitted to go unchallenged, schools may no longer be able to maintain separate restrooms, showers, and locker rooms on the basis of students’ actual sex.”
The attorney general, who has also come out against Target’s recently announced decision to allow affirming bathroom access for trans customers and staff, has reportedly been pushing local anti-trans restroom policies in the state of Texas.
Paxton filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of a school district in North Texas that, according to the Texas Tribune, “adopted a policy requiring students to use bathrooms according to the gender cited on their birth certificates.” “He didn't say his office asked the district to pass the policy,” reported the Tribune.
Paxton's aides attended a school board meeting in Wichita Falls on May 16, as the outlet reports, to push the same policy.
Watch the clip of Paxton on Fox News below.