Morrisey signs amicus brief in federal transgender bathroom case

By Chris Dickerson | May 13, 2016

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this week joined seven other states in opposing the federal government’s push to unilaterally rewrite federal law by regulation in order to force local school districts to admit adolescents into bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex.

Morrisey weighed in on the case arising out of Gloucester County, Virginia, because it is in the same federal circuit as West Virginia. A decision there will govern not only Virginia, but also West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“West Virginia and other states share an interest in maintaining local control of schools,” Morrisey said in a press release. “This decision allows the federal government to unilaterally interfere with schools across our state.

“The dissenting judge correctly pointed out the federal government has overreached by attempting to rewrite ‘sex’ discrimination to include ‘gender identity.’ Now every school board in West Virginia that receives federal funds is vulnerable to lawsuits seeking to allow students unfettered access to the bathroom, locker room or sports team of his or her choice."

Morrisey sided with the local school board last year. He reiterated that support May 10 in joining seven states with a friend of the court brief that backs Gloucester County’s request to have its case reheard by the full, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

“This is blatant federal overreach,” Morrisey said. “The Obama Administration is trying to once again rewrite the law to suit its agenda.”

Two judges on a three-judge panel ruled against the local school board last month.

This week’s brief cites the unprecedented nature of that panel’s majority decision. It argues never before had a court permitted the U.S. Department of Education to redefine “sex” away from its long standing meaning as a biological category so as to include gender identity.

Morrisey signed the May 10 brief with officials from Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas and Utah.

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