'USDA Now Biggest School Bully,' Says Attorney General Mark Brnovich

PHOENIX – Today, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined 25 other state attorneys general demanding President Biden stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent guidance, which attempts to make nutritional assistance for children dependent on the adoption of ridiculous school bathroom policies. 

"Students have always had to stand up to kids threatening to take their lunch money, but a federal government bully is more than any child or school should have to contend with," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "The USDA has no business regulating bathrooms."

The guidance says public schools must allow boys who identify as girls into girls' bathrooms, showers, and sleeping quarters as a condition of receiving federal funding for lunches, breakfasts, and snacks. It imposes new and unlawful regulatory measures on state agencies and operators receiving federal financial assistance from the USDA. This will result in regulatory chaos and threaten essential nutritional services for some of our most vulnerable students.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Services Civil Rights Division enforces Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act’s prohibitions on sex discrimination. On May 5, 2022, it issued a memorandum purporting it to be a "policy update." The guidance states that it is intended to “provide direction to state agencies and program operators regarding processing program complaints that allege discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.”  The attorneys general assert the guidance violates the Administrative Procedure Act as there was no opportunity for public input.  Furthermore, the USDA is attempting to disguise its rulemaking as a “policy update.”

Joining General Brnovich are the Attorneys General of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Virginia. 

Copy of the letter here.