AG Knudsen sues Biden administration over threat to hold school lunches hostage to its transgender agenda
HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and 21 other state attorneys general filed a lawsuit today against the Biden administration’s new guidance that threatens to withhold federal nutritional assistance for schools and programs that receive federal nutritional assistance.
In May, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services issued unlawful guidance that “discrimination on the basis of sex” in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act includes sexual orientation and gender identity. If schools or programs don’t comply, the guidance threatens their funding used to provide meals for students.
“Holding school lunches for needy kids hostage is reprehensible,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “We’re fighting to protect these programs and stop the Biden administration from forcing its radical gender ideology onto Montana schools.”
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) and it is premised on an obvious misreading and misapplication of the Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County. Justices clearly stated in the Bostock opinion that it was limited to only Title VII.
Additionally, the guidance imposes new and unlawful regulations on state agencies and operators receiving funds through USDA that will cause regulatory chaos threatening nutritional services for children.
Nearly 30 million school children rely on the National School Lunch Program services each day for breakfast, lunch, or both. In Montana, the National School Lunch Program serves 80,000 students per day. 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.
Last month, Attorney General Knudsen was part of a 26-state coalition that called on President Biden to withdraw the USDA’s guidance.
To read the lawsuit filed today in the Eastern District of Tennessee, click here.