WATCH: Senator Tuberville on Title IX following Lia Thomas’ championship win
EXCLUSIVE: Montana is leading 14 states in 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 Title IX’s plain meaning and safeguard the integrity of women’s sports,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote to the Civil Rights Division of the Biden Education Department in a letter signed by 14 other state attorneys general Tuesday.
President Joe Biden speaks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The attorneys general wrote that they are “alarmed about the Department of Education’s intent to propose new regulations implementing Title IX” and argued the department “has failed to provide sufficient justification for engaging in a new rule-making.”
“We therefore urge the Department to halt its effort and not disturb the current Title IX regulations,” the letter says. “The Department should also not illegally re-write Title IX to include gender identity. Make the right choice for the rule of law as well as students, parents, teachers and schools.”
Miguel Cardona speaks after President-elect Joe Biden announced him as his nominee for education secretary.
(Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
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.
“We are also concerned that an interpretation of Title IX that goes beyond sex to include gender identity has and will be used by to improperly intrude into 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 runs contrary to the role of the Department of Education, the text of Title IX, and parents’ constitutional right to decide what is in the best interests of 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.
(Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group/Daily Times)
“The Executive Order charged the Department of Education with reviewing 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. “The Department of Education has announced that it intends to propose amendments to its Title IX regulations this year.”
The Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital on the multi-state letter.
The rift between the Biden administration and the 15 attorneys general comes as Republicans across the country have attempted to push back against states and universities that have allowed individuals who were born male but “identify” as female to compete against female student athletes.
One such high-profile case involves University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who was born male, being allowed to compete against female swimmers.
“The majority of us female athletes, or females in general, really, are not OK with this, and they’re not OK with the trajectory of this and how this is going and how it could end up in a few years,” Gaines said, referring to the NCAA’s unwillingness to change the rules in an effort to protect female competitive sports.
Gaines said she knows several women who feel the same way she does, but they’re “scared” to speak out against transgender females participating in women’s sports because of today’s culture, and “they don’t want to risk their future.”
Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.
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