Judge O’Connor, whom President George W. Bush nominated to the federal bench, said that not granting an injunction would put states “in the position of either maintaining their current policies in the face of the federal government’s view that they are violating the law, or changing them to comply with the guidelines and cede their authority over this issue.”
The judge’s order, in a case brought by officials from more than a dozen states, is a victory for social conservatives in the continuing legal battles over the restroom guidelines, which the federal government issued this year. The culture war over the rights of transgender people, and especially their right to use public bathrooms consistent with their gender identities, has emerged as an emotional cause among social conservatives.
The ruling could deter the administration from bringing new legal action against school districts that do not allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
It’s not clear whether the ruling will apply nationwide.