". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Red States Erupt over Biden’s Radical Title IX Rewrite

April 26, 2024

President Biden must be trying really hard to lose this election. Just when you think he’s alienated as many people as possible, his White House decides to pick a fight with every woman in America. If the administration was under some grand delusion that taking a sledgehammer to Title IX would endear them to voters, they’re in the middle of a very rude reality check. The reaction can pretty much be summed up Kristen Waggoner’s way: “See you in court, POTUS.”

Ripping 52 years of progress out of girls’ hands — only to turn around and hand it to trans-identifying boys — went over as subtly as a declaration of war. From Capitol Hill to governor’s mansions, Biden’s suggestion that the Lia Thomases of the world deserve more protection than America’s daughters sparked a roaring fire that’s just getting started.

“DO NOT EVER LET ANY DEMOCRAT TELL YOU THEY CARE ABOUT WOMEN’S RIGHTS EVER AGAIN IF THEY DO NOT STAND UP TO THIS ABOMINATION OF A TITLE IX REVISION,” railed former CNN anchor Megyn Kelly in all-caps outrage. “The only people who win are people who say they are ‘trans,’” she pointed out. They’re the ones who are taking over “our language” and “our spaces and eventually our sports.”

Kelly, who’s been surprisingly outspoken on the issue for the last few years, also reminded people of the lawlessness of Biden’s act, saying, “No lawmaker has voted on this. No Congress has passed this. Joe Biden did it with his education secretary,” and yet it applies to K-12, colleges, even some private schools. “He’s waved his magic wand to say we all have to do it the way Joe Biden wants it done.”

Not so fast, say a growing number of states. Just because the White House wants to let biological boys into girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, and dorm rooms doesn’t mean he has the authority to force others to go along with it. Before the rule even goes into effect on August 1, four states — Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Carolina — are flat-out refusing to comply.

Louisiana’s Dr. Cade Brumley sent a state-wide message to schools ordering them not to “alter policies or procedures at this time.” As so many local leaders are arguing, this new policy is in “direct contradiction” with state laws that forbid trans-identifying students from using facilities or joining sports teams that aren’t consistent with their biological gender. “You can rest assured that they have the full intent of this applying completely to athletics moving forward,” Brumley said on a phone call with reporters. Like so many observers, the Louisiana superintendent of education is not fooled by Biden’s decision to postpone the most outrageous part of his rule until after the election when it’s more politically expedient.

As for what Brumley might do to challenge the law, the leader was clear: “All options are on the table.”

Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz was just as fired up, vowing, “Florida will fight this.” The Biden administration can’t get away with “gaslight[ing] the country into believing that biological sex no longer has any meaning,” Diaz argued. In a memo to the Sunshine State, he warned against putting any part of the administration’s new guidelines into practice, since the radical rewrite violates everything from the First Amendment to the local Parental Rights in Education Act. “At [Governor] Ron DeSantis’s direction,” he insisted, “no educational institution should begin implementing any changes,” Mr. Diaz advises.

His counterpart in Oklahoma, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters, was furious at the overreach, telling the state that it puts “women in danger.” “In Oklahoma, we don’t bend to the senseless will of Biden and his posse eradicating women’s rights and putting women in danger,” Walters told the Washington Examiner. “This is why I’ve instructed every superintendent in my state to completely ignore Biden’s new Title IX changes that allow males to roam in female locker rooms, dorms, and bathrooms — places where women should feel safe.”

Don’t comply, he ordered Oklahoma’s school districts. “It’s time for every state leader to stand up and say enough of this preposterous charade that erases women and puts their safety in jeopardy.” This is, Walters wrote in a fiery letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, “the most devastating attack on women’s rights in our country’s history.” If the president doesn’t reverse course, he demanded Cardona’s resignation.

In nearby South Carolina, a similar rebellion was underway. State Education Superintendent Ellen Weaver insisted that “South Carolina students are not pawns to be sacrificed in cynical political gambits.” To the local superintendents, she made it clear that the state would “defend the inherent dignity of every person, while refusing to upend long-standing federal law, violate common sense, or acquiesce to radical attempts to redefine biological reality by bureaucratic diktat. This is not fairness,” Weaver seethed, “it is fiat.”

The idea that teachers and students could be fired or suspended for using the “wrong” pronouns or be forced to share sleeping, showering, restroom, and changing spaces with the opposite sex is dangerous, Weaver warned, and it “creates chaos and confusion for teachers, students, and parents.” As such, she called on local schools to “not implement the new rule at this time.”

Officials in Wyoming left the door open to join the revolt, appalled that the Biden administration would “attack the protections of biological women and the rights of parents … without any Congressional action.” Like the 25 governors who registered their horror when Biden floated the idea last May, state leaders and conservatives fully expect the administration to be sued the nanosecond the rule goes into effect this summer. Several contenders are lining up to take a crack at Biden’s abuse of power, including the legal arm of the Independent Women’s Forum, Alliance Defending Freedom, and a number of state attorneys general.

As most of the chief executives pointed out, they’d have a strong case. “Leaving aside the Department’s utter lack of authority to promulgate such a regulation,” half of America’s governors argued last year in a terse letter to Cardona, “neither states nor schools should be subjected to such a fluid and uncertain standard. Nor, most importantly, should the historic advancements and achievements of our sisters, mothers, and daughters be erased.” Which is why, most of these states would point out, 25 of them have taken legislative action to defend their girls.

The Biden agenda is exactly what Brumely and the others were trying to avoid. “This is reckless,” he told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Thursday’s “Washington Watch.” “It endangers children. It seeks to dismantle protections for women.” One of his biggest concerns is the conflict it sets up with Louisiana’s laws that level the playing field for girls’ sports and the new Given Name Act which requires teachers to call students by the name on their birth certificate unless parents requests otherwise in writing.

And not only is the White House trying to override these laws, they’re willing to snatch away federal funding from anyone who doesn’t comply. “I’ve asked, ‘Are you serious that they would withhold funds for students with exceptionalities who need additional support?’ I’ve asked if they’re serious about withholding funds for students who are in most need in terms of their economic conditions. And unfortunately, all of that is in play right now. I think that that is what they are dangling over the heads of all of the states.”

But judging by the states’ pushback, the path to enforcing this woke new policy will be complicated, to say the least. The more state superintendents who buck Biden’s extremism, the harder it will be to make this Title IX takedown a reality.

As FRC’s Meg Kilgannon told The Washington Stand, Americans should be encouraged by the united front the states are starting to put up. “It is truly wonderful to see state superintendents standing up to this new rule. That they are doing so before legal action has begun is especially commendable. These are the situations where we can see which adults are acting decisively and seriously out of concern for the children in their care and in defense of truth and reality. We need to pray for them and let them know how grateful we are for their leadership and courage while assuring them of our prayers.”

To keep the pressure on, she encouraged, “People everywhere should call their state superintendent and nicely inquire about what will happen in their state’s schools.” A grassroots uprising may be the only thing — short of an election — capable of stopping this White House.

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.