Landry, 25 Other State Attorneys General Call on President to Withdraw Radical Plan
BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana
Attorney General Jeff Landry is voicing opposition to the Biden plan of
withholding nutrition assistance for schools and programs that do not adhere to
new “gender identity”/“sexual orientation” policy.
Attorney General Landry joined a coalition of 26 state attorneys general calling on the President to withdraw the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new guidance on sex discrimination for schools and programs that receive federal nutritional assistance.
“Recent guidance from the Biden Administration imposes new – and unlawful – regulatory measures on state agencies and operators receiving federal financial assistance from the USDA,” explained Attorney General Landry. “It is unbelievable that Joe Biden is willing to deprive kids of meals in order to force us to let boys in girl bathrooms.”
In May, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced it would expand its interpretation of the prohibition on sex discrimination found in Title IX to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity based on a flawed understanding of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.
As a result, any state and local agency or program that receives federal funds through The Food and Nutrition Act and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – administered by the USDA – must comply with this unlawful application of Bostock and Title IX or lose federal funding.
“This is yet another attempt by the executive branch and unelected regulators to do what only Congress is constitutionally authorized to do: change the law,” said Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery. “They intentionally misread the Bostock decision to fit their social policy preferences and exclude the people and their elected representatives from the entire process. As Attorneys General we cannot just sit on the sidelines, and we will not.”
The National School Lunch Program services nearly 30 million schoolchildren 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.
In a letter to Biden, Attorney General Landry and his colleagues note that expanding the concept of “discrimination on the basis of sex” to include gender identity and sexual orientation does far more than offer direction:
- The Guidance is unlawful because it was issued without providing the States and other stakeholders the opportunity for input as required by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
- The Guidance is unlawful because the USDA premised it on an obvious misreading and misapplication of the Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County. Bostock expressly disclaimed application to “other federal or state laws that prohibit sex discrimination” – like Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act – and expressly did not “prejudge any such questions.”
- 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 letter was signed by attorneys general from Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.