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AG Fitch sues Biden Administration over nutrition assistance for schools

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Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch joined 21 other attorneys general in filing a lawsuit today against the Biden Administration, challenging its new guidance on sex discrimination for schools and programs that receive federal nutrition assistance.

The lawsuit follows guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services on May 5 to Mississippi and other states which applied the administration’s definition of discrimination based on sex affiliation to the Food and Nutrition Act.

In addition, Fitch alleges that the Biden Administration has sought to apply the Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County very expansively to include discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity in a wide variety of government programs. The USDA guidance issue, in this case, puts Mississippi’s Title IX and SNAP school lunch funding at risk.

“Children and families in need rely on these programs for sustenance,” Fitch said. “This is not the place or time for President Biden to be playing politics and pushing an agenda far out-of-step with the American people.”

In the lawsuit, the attorneys general argue the USDA’s Guidance is unlawful for these reasons:

  • It was issued without providing the States 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 of whom rely on it for breakfast, lunch, or both.

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