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AG Stenehjem mulls joining transgender bathroom lawsuit

The office of Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is considering whether to join officials from 11 other states in a legal battle with the federal government over transgender bathroom policy.

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Wayne Stenehjem

The office of Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is considering whether to join officials from 11 other states in a legal battle with the federal government over transgender bathroom policy.

Texas is leading the lawsuit, which accuses the federal government of overstepping its constitutional authority, Reuters reported Wednesday. The Obama administration said earlier this month that public schools in the U.S. must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

Doug Burgum, Stenehjem's opponent the June primary election for governor, said in a statement Thursday it was "disappointing" that the attorney general "did not take the time to join his Republican colleagues in fighting this egregious example of federal overreach."

"North Dakotans know that these decisions should be made at the local level, not by Washington, and our elected officials have an obligation to stand up for our rights as a state," Burgum's statement added.

Liz Brocker, a spokeswoman for Stenehjem, confirmed late Thursday morning the office is "still reviewing" the case. She didn't have a timeline for a decision.

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Stenehjem did tell radio station KFGO earlier this month that he doubted "there is a legal basis for (President Barack Obama) to issue this kind of directive."

"I will do what I need to do to protect the state of North Dakota from federal overreach based on law that doesn't exist," he added.

Related Topics: WAYNE STENEHJEM
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