Why Sam Olens Joined the Lawsuit over the DOE’s Guidance Letter

What do these things have in common?

Each of them is a regulation issued by one of the branches of the federal government that oversteps the boundaries of what Congress has enacted into law. In each case, an executive branch department, such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Education, has created a policy or regulation that goes beyond what was intended when Congress passed a law, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act or Title IX.

In each of these cases, the state of Georgia, through its Attorney General Sam Olens, has filed or joined a lawsuit intended to preserve the principle that Congress makes laws that the president and executive branch of government carry out. While an argument can be made that these regulations interfere with states’ rights under the tenth amendment, the Attorney General’s argument is that the regulations are unconstitutional based on the separation of powers delineated in Article I and Article II of the Constitution.

The most recent of these, is the lawsuit challenging the directives in the guidance letter. Take a closer read of Olens’s statement announcing Georgia was going to join in the Texas lawsuit:

The guidance letter is yet another example of the President’s unconstitutional overreach. The Constitution gives only Congress the power to write and rewrite laws. Threatening to withhold taxpayer dollars from schools if they don’t comply with this new and legally unsound mandate is unconstitutional. I will continue to defend the Constitution on behalf of Georgians.

Olens’s message said nothing about the T word or the B word. Instead, it was all about the C word.

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Robbie
Robbie

I think this is a nice way of trying to explain it away, but, as numerous experts have noted (including AG Olens himself), the guidance letter from the Obama administration doesn’t carry the force of law. And, as a guidance letter outlining best practices for inclusion, it’s certainly not an overreach. What’s more, Federal courts have been interpreting Title IX to be trans-inclusive for nearly 15 years and the Education Department has been following that precedent since at least 2013. Georgia had no plans to join the lawsuit until the ultra-conservative members of the GA legislature and others screamed bloody… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Hard to see how this is going anywhere. Unless Congress wants to try to pass a revision to Title IX that says something like “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, except transgender individuals. I guess the bottom line is that there are people who don’t believe there is any such thing as ‘transgender’. Anyone who claims that must be faking or confused. Somehow reminds me of a scene from… Read more »