Jun 19, 2024

Federal Judge Temporarily Prevents New Title IX Regulations From Taking Effect in Ohio

Alert | Education Law Alert

On June 17, 2024, a United States District Court judge in Kentucky issued a preliminary injunction preventing the 2024 Title IX regulations from going into effect in several states, including Ohio. The 2024 regulations are supposed to be applied to allegations of sex-based discrimination that occur on or after August 1, 2024. Ohio is included in the judge’s order because Ohio is one of the six plaintiff states in State of Tennessee v. Miguel Cardona. Read the decision here

Although the injunction is directed at the 2024 regulations in their entirety, the focus of the plaintiffs’ complaint and motion for an injunction was the explicit inclusion of Title IX protections for students and school employees based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The judge rejected the U.S. Department of Education’s argument that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 590 U.S. 644 (2020) applied to Title IX sex-based discrimination. In Bostock, the Court held that Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination “because of sex” in the context of employment included discrimination because of a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Although Title IX prohibits discrimination “based on sex” rather than “because of sex,” courts routinely apply Title VII cases to Title IX cases, and vice versa. The judge in Cardona, however, refused to do so. 

The judge also stated that requiring school personnel to use a person’s preferred name, or otherwise recognize a person’s gender identity, violated the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech. 

Finally, the judge suggested that prohibiting one person from discriminating against another based on the second person’s gender identity or sexual orientation might violate the first person’s right to exercise his or her religion.

So, for now, the new Title IX regulations will not be going into effect in Ohio on August 1, 2024.  Stay tuned for more updates from the Education lawyers at Roetzel & Andress as this litigation moves forward.  

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