Just 48 Hours On The Job, Jeff Sessions Is Already Rolling Back Discrimination Protections For Trans Kids

Less than 48 hours after Jeff Sessions was sworn in as U.S. attorney general, the U.S. Department of Justice has withdrawn its request for a partial stay on an order against Obama administration guidance protecting transgender students from school discrimination and assuring them to the restroom consistent with their gender identity.

Oral arguments for the Obama Justice Department’s appeal of the judge’s decision had been scheduled for Tuesday, but the DOJ cancelled them in a legal brief submitted Friday, reports ThinkProgress.

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“Defendants-appellants hereby withdraw their pending November 23, 2016 motion for partial stay pending appeal,” states the DOJ brief. “The parties jointly move to remove from the Court’s calendar the February 14, 2017 oral argument currently scheduled for that motion. The parties are currently considering how best to proceed.”

ThinkProgress notes:

As ThinkProgress reported last August, the Obama administration’s guidance “stated that Title IX’s nondiscrimination protections on the basis of ‘sex’ protect transgender students in accordance with their gender identity, such that they must be allowed to use the bathrooms and play on sports teams that match their gender.” But the brief filed Friday signals that the Trump administration no longer wants to implement that guidance.

“No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus,” John B. King Jr., the secretary of the Department of Education, said in a statement to the New York Times in April. “We must ensure that our young people know that whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”

During an interview with a Christian publication in October, Mike Pence indicated that a future Donald Trump administration would roll back guidance issued by the Obama administration to schools that urged them not to discriminate against transgender students.

“These questions that come up, Donald Trump and I both believe not only can be resolved with common sense at the local level, but they are every single day, working with parents and administrators and teachers,” Pence argued.

The Indiana governor asserted that the federal government should not have any say on whether school administrators should be able to discriminate against transgender students.

“These issues, I can tell you, are resolved in the state of Indiana whenever they come up, and they should be resolved with the safety and well-being of our children first and foremost, their privacy interests and rights and with common sense,” Pence said. “Donald Trump and I simply believe that all of these issues are best resolved at the state level by the people of communities, by the standards they want to set.”

“After being on the job for less than 48 hours, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his intent to undermine the equal dignity of transgender students,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Transgender students are entitled to the full protection of the United States Constitution and our federal nondiscrimination laws. It is heartbreaking and wrong that the agency tasked with enforcing civil rights laws would instead work to subvert them for political interests. President Trump must immediately reverse course and direct the DOJ to uphold guidance protecting transgender students.”

ThinkProgress notes, “Despite promising during the campaign that he’d be ‘much better for the gays’ than Hillary Clinton, Trump offered the LGBT community little more than Islamophobia while taking just about every anti-LGBT position possible.”

Trump has repeatedly exploited the LGBT community’s pain for political gain during his campaign. Less than 24 hours after the Pulse nightclub massacre, Trump took to multiple news networks to suggest that President Barack Obama is either “not smart” or is somehow involved in the horrific Orlando Pulse attack that killed 49 people, and injured 53 more.

“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said via phone to Fox News. “And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”

Trump continued to exploit the tragedy the following day, tweeting out a message suggesting that he was right to imply that President Obama is an ISIS sympathizer.

To prove his controversial claims that the president supports the terrorist group, he tweeted a story from anti-Obama website Breitbart.com that cites a newly discovered “secret” memo the website says proves Obama is an ISIS supporter, reports ABC News. (read more here.)