15 states threaten legal action against Biden admin to protect ‘integrity of women’s sports’

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EXCLUSIVE: Montana leads 14 states threatening legal action against the Department of Education in an effort to “protect the integrity of women’s sports.”

“We are prepared to take legal action to uphold the plain meaning of Title IX and safeguard the integrity of women’s sports,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote Tuesday to the Biden Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division in a letter signed by 14 other state attorneys general. .

President Joe Biden speaks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden speaks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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The attorneys general wrote that they are “alarmed by the Department of Education’s intent to propose new regulations implementing Title IX” and argued that the department “has not provided sufficient justification to engage in new rulemaking.”

“Therefore, we urge the Department to stop its effort and not alter the current Title IX regulations,” the letter says. “The Department should also not illegally rewrite Title IX to include gender identity. Make the right decision for the rule of law, as well as for students, parents, teachers and schools.”

Miguel Cardona speaks after President-elect Joe Biden announced him as his candidate for Secretary of Education.

Miguel Cardona speaks after President-elect Joe Biden announced him as his candidate for Secretary of Education.
(Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

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In addition to Knudsen, the letter was also signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.

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“We are also concerned that an interpretation of Title IX that goes beyond sex to include gender identity has been and is being used to improperly intrude on parental decision-making regarding the education and upbringing of their children,” Knudsen and the attorneys general wrote. “An interpretation of Title IX that supports such radical positions is contrary to the role of the Department of Education, the text of Title IX and the constitutional right of parents to decide what is best for their children.”

President Biden signed an executive order in March that outlined plans to review Title IX regulations related to gender identity.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visits Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on April 6, 2021.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visits Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on April 6, 2021.
(Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group/Daily Times)

“The Executive Order directed the Department of Education to review the significant rates at which students who identify as LGBTQ+ are subject to sexual harassment, including sexual violence,” the White House said in a statement. statement. “The Department of Education has announced that it intends to propose amendments to its Title IX regulations this year.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, a Department of Education spokesperson said the department is “committed to ensuring that schools provide students with educational environments free from discrimination, a goal we hope all educators and leaders share.”

The statement continued: “In line with this goal and as the Department has previously stated, the Department anticipates updating the Title IX regulations this spring.”

The rift between the Biden administration and the 15 attorneys general comes as Republicans across the country have sought to roll back states and universities that allowed people who were born male but “identify” as female to compete against student athletes.

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One such high-profile case involves University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who was born male, who was allowed to compete against female swimmers.

Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who recently tied Thomas for fifth in the 200-yard freestyle NCAA swimming championships, says the “majority” of women “do not agree with the trajectory” women’s sports are taking.

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“Most of us athletes, or women in general, really don’t agree with this, and don’t agree with the trajectory of this and how it’s going and how it could end in a few years,” Gaines said, referring to the NCAA’s unwillingness to change the rules in an effort to protect women’s competitive sports.

Gaines said she knows several women who feel the same way she does but are “afraid” to speak out against transgender women participating in women’s sports because of the current culture and “don’t want to risk their future.”

Kyle Morris of Fox News contributed to this report.