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Stenehjem: Challenge to bathroom directive still coming

BISMARCK -- North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is anticipating filing a legal challenge to the Obama administration's directive on transgender bathroom policy next week.

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Wayne Stenehjem

BISMARCK -- North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is anticipating filing a legal challenge to the Obama administration's directive on transgender bathroom policy next week.

Stenehjem, a Republican who is also running for governor, announced efforts last week to form a coalition with other attorneys general to file a lawsuit. He anticipated at the time he would file the suit this week, but as of late morning Friday, Stenehjem told the Herald it had not been submitted.

"We're just trying to encourage a couple more states to join in, and they need to go through whatever process they need to go through," he said. "It'll be within the next couple of days."

In May, President Barack Obama's administration issued guidance to public schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. Officials from 11 states, led by Texas, filed a lawsuit in late May.

Stenehjem previously said the lawsuit he will bring is "basically the same" as the one filed by the other states. He said it would argue the Obama administration is overstepping its constitutional authority, adding "these issues need to be handled as they have been for a long time -- on the local level."

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Stenehjem's opponent in the June 14 primary election, Fargo businessman Doug Burgum, agreed that the question is best handled by local officials and not the federal government.

Related Topics: WAYNE STENEHJEMDOUG BURGUM
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