Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and 17 other state attorneys general are calling on the Biden administration to back off the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule demolishing protections for women contained in federal law and “making a mockery of Title IX’s fundamental organization principle—basic biology.”
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“The Biden Administration’s insistence on redefining ‘sex’ in Title IX ignores science. In so doing, it will walk back decades of progress for women in sports,” the coalition, led by Attorney General Knudsen and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, wrote today in a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
Since Title IX was enacted 50 years ago, one of its greatest successes has been in providing women the benefits of enhanced athletic participation, leading to an explosion in the participation of girls and women in sports.
In 2021, 3.4 million girls played high school sports and 219,000 women played NCAA sports. The Biden Administration’s Title IX revisions, however, will end sex-based protections for biological women in sports which threatens the safety of female athletes.
“Your proposed rule merely pretends to reserve the issue of biological males participating in women’s sports for a separate rulemaking. This wolf comes as wolf: defining the term ‘sex’ to include gender identity will destroy women’s sports,” the coalition of attorneys general wrote.
“Because the Biden Administration’s attempt to change the focus and meaning of Title IX is an attack on the rights of girls and women and will make them less safe and cause them to lose vital opportunities, we will fight your proposed changes to Title IX with every available tool in our arsenal.”
The newly proposed rule also guts the Trump administration’s historic 2020 rulemaking that codified sexual harassment regulations into law for the first time ever. The Trump-era rule guarantees victims and accused students strong, clear, procedural rights in a predictable, transparent process designed to reach reliable outcomes, and provides essential provisions protecting free speech, academic freedom, and religious liberty.
“Beyond the gender identity issue, the Department has failed to offer sufficient justification as to why the Title IX regulations require revision,” the attorneys general wrote. “Your newly proposed rule guts the historic 2020 Rule. And it does so for no reason other than some apparent need to pander to your far-left constituencies.”
The attorneys general also reiterated their April request for Assistant Secretary Catherine Lhamon to recuse herself from the Title IX rulemaking process given her past statements and record. Lhamon played a crucial role in creating President Obama’s Title IX catastrophe that resulted in hundreds of successful lawsuits against schools for denying basic due process and widespread criticism from across the ideological spectrum.
In addition to Attorneys General Knudsen and Rokita, attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia joined the letter. ■