NEWS ARCHIVES

Missouri AG Sues Biden Admin. over Threats to Withhold Nutrition Assistance for Schools that Don’t Adhere to ‘Gender Identity’, ‘Sexual Orientation’ Policy

Jul 26, 2022, 16:08 PM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that his office joined 21 other attorneys general in filing a lawsuit today against the Biden Administration’s new guidance on sex discrimination for schools and programs that receive federal nutritional assistance. The lawsuit names the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and was filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee. A preliminary injunction was also filed to halt the unlawful guidance.
On May 5, 2022, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services issued guidance announcing that discrimination on the basis of sex in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act includes discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity and that non-compliance could result in withdrawal of federal funds, putting Missouri’s Title IX and SNAP school lunch funding at risk.

“The Biden Administration is attempting to hold Missouri children’s lunch money hostage in order to further its woke agenda,” said Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “This is yet another attempt by the Biden Administration to warp Title IX to fit their agenda. I will continue to make sure that bureaucrats are required to follow the law and will halt the Biden Administration’s bully tactics to protect imperative lunch funding for our children.”

In the lawsuit, the attorneys general argue the USDA’s Guidance is unlawful because:
  • It was issued without providing the State and other stakeholders the opportunity for input as required by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
  • The USDA premised its Guidance on an obvious misreading and misapplication of the Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County. 
  • The Guidance imposes new and unlawful regulatory measures on state agencies and operators receiving federal financial assistance from the USDA. This will inevitably result in regulatory chaos that threatens essential nutritional services to some of the most vulnerable citizens.
The National School Lunch Program services nearly 30 million school children each day, many who rely on it for breakfast, lunch, or both. Approximately 100,000 public and non-profit private schools and residential childcare institutions receive federal funding to provide subsidized free or reduced-price meals for qualifying children.
 
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office and a coalition of attorneys general recently obtained a preliminary injunction halting similar “gender identity” guidance from the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: https://ago.mo.gov/home/news/2022/07/18/missouri-coalition-of-attorneys-general-obtain-injunction-halting-biden-administration-guidance-on-bathrooms-sports-in-schools-and-workplaces

Joining Missouri in the lawsuit are Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

To read the complaint, click here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/tennessee-et-al-v-usda-et-al-(complaint-as-filed).pdf?sfvrsn=c0d4951d_2