Nebraska drops lawsuit over Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policy

LINCOLN — Nebraska has dropped its lawsuit over federal guidelines concerning transgender students’ access to bathrooms and other facilities.

The state asked to dismiss the suit Thursday because the Trump administration withdrew the guidelines in February. U.S. District Judge John Gerrard granted the motion.

Suzanne Gage, a spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, said the attorney general filed the dismissal motion because he believes the federal government had gone back to the proper application of law.

“School districts will again have the freedom to fashion policies regarding sensitive privacy issues at the local level,” she said.

The suit concerned guidelines issued by the Obama administration that said public schools must allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identities.

The guidelines also addressed dress codes, athletic participation, accommodations on overnight trips and transgender students’ right to privacy, among other issues. They applied to K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities.

The guidelines had been on hold since August, when a federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction blocking them from taking effect.

Nebraska joined nine other states in challenging the guidelines. A separate lawsuit filed by another group of states led to the Texas court order.

The Nebraska suit alleged that the Obama administration had overstepped its authority by imposing a new definition of the word “sex” without going through the normal administrative or legislative process.

Nebraska remains part of a separate lawsuit filed by Texas and three other Republican-led states against federal health care rules that bar discrimination against transgender people.

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