Officials in 11 states, including Texas, will sue the White House over its new transgender directive in schools, once again pitting the Lone Star State against an administration they have relished fighting.
Three individual school districts have also joined the federal lawsuit, according to the lawsuit , which was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and obtained by CNN. Joining Texas are Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia. Two school districts in Arizona, one school district in Texas and Maine Gov. Paul LePage are also listed as plaintiffs.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state's attorney general, Ken Paxton, would challenge the controversial order, which tells school district to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. No other details were immediately available Wednesday about the number of states joining in on the suit. Abbott announced the litigation in a tweet.
Abbott, a former state attorney general himself, has made his lawsuits against the Obama administration a touchstone of his political profile. The state is currently awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Obama administration's executive actions on immigration.
Obama has defended the directive as a measure to prevent bullying for "vulnerable" students.
"I think that is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are loved, and protected, and their dignity is affirmed," he told BuzzFeed News in an interview last week.
The nonbinding guidance was distributed jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice earlier this month.