Attorney General Jim Hood Applauds U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to hear arguments in a lawsuit between a Virginia public school board and a transgender student regarding which restrooms the transgender student is permitted to use.

Attorney General Hood joined amicus briefs in November 2015 and again this summer stating that the courts should defer to the judgment of the local school board. That board argued that, in order to protect students’ privacy and safety, students were required to use restrooms based on their sex at birth, or use unisex restrooms.

“I am relieved that the Supreme Court recognizes the importance of resolving this dispute and am hopeful that it find that schools need flexibility to make their own policy decisions based on each school’s own distinct needs and resources,” Attorney General Hood said.

In May, the Attorney General declined to join the lawsuit filed by Texas over the same types of issues, because the state of Mississippi had at that point already been active in the Virginia case for seven months.

“As I stated at the time, I believe the state’s litigation resources were better used to support the school district in Virginia in its effort to seek review from the Supreme Court rather than to file a new lawsuit in Texas,” Attorney General Hood said. “I believe this issue should be resolved as quickly as possible, and that these policy decisions should remain at the discretion of local schools and professional educators, who are better qualified than lawyers to make decisions under Title IX on these kinds of important issues.”

“The issue is to let local school boards decide whether the facilities and personnel are available to police the bathroom facilities from mischievous boys entering girls’ restrooms and locker rooms, not a federal agency. It is not to punish those who really believe they are the opposite sex than that which God gave them. If a school wants to have bathrooms available to either sex or establish a review process to ferret out pranksters, then the school boards should make those decisions based upon the location of the restroom and locker rooms and personnel. This is not a case where a court has found that a transgender person has the constitutional right to go to whichever restroom they prefer. The U. S. Departments of Education and Justice are stretching the meaning of the word sex to mean the sex you think you should have been born with. When the word was written by Congress in 1972 and amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 prohibiting discrimination based on sex, I do not believe they were contemplating sex as being anything other than sex at birth. Had the Congress intended differently, then it could have added different language. Although courts generally respect and allow deference to agencies interpreting statutes under their purview, I do not believe our U.S. Supreme Court will allow two federal agencies to coerce states into adopting their twisted definition of the word sex by cutting off federal funds to schools.

“Sex has been determined on the basis of genitalia since the beginning of time. I am sympathetic to people whose brain tells them their soul, personality and being are the opposite of the genitalia with which they were born. If they prefer to dress and act like the opposite sex, I am sure it is awkward for them to have to go to a restroom opposite their dress. However, others have rights to be considered and until the U. S. Supreme Court says people have a constitutional right to go to the restroom of their preference, a federal agency should not be allowed to substitute its opinion for local school boards who protect all of our children.”

AG Jim Hood Press Release