Georgia, 10 other states suing over Obama transgender directive

ATLANTA — Georgia and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The lawsuit announced Wednesday accuses the Obama administration of "running roughshod over commonsense policies" that protect children. It also includes Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Louisiana, Utah, Texas and Arizona.

“The guidance letter is yet another example of the President’s unconstitutional overreach," Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said. The Constitution gives only Congress the power to write and rewrite laws. Threatening to withhold taxpayer dollars from schools if they don’t comply with this new and legally unsound mandate is unconstitutional. I will continue to defend the Constitution on behalf of Georgians.”

The challenge, which asks a judge to declare the directive unlawful, follows a federal directive to U.S. schools this month to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The directive from the U.S. Justice and Education Departments represents an escalation in the fast-moving dispute over what is becoming the civil rights issue of the day. The guidance was issued after the Justice Department and North Carolina sued each other overs a state law that requires transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate. The law applies to schools and many other places.

Supporters say such measures are needed to protect women and children from sexual predators, while the Justice Department and others argue the threat is practically nonexistent and the law discriminatory

The Associated Press contributed to this report