Two of Donald Trump’s cabinet members may have had their first big argument or, at least, their first publicly reported one. The New York Times writes that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos are split over transgender students rights in public schools. DeVos is said to be skeptical over a new draft order that would reverse President Obama’s order that allowed transgender students to use a bathroom of their choosing.
The Times reports that the Trump administration is rehashing Obama’s order due to ongoing litigation and some uncertainty over the directives Obama laid out. In addition, it’s still unknown which direction Trump will take when it comes to transgender rights:
“Mr. Trump initially expressed sympathy for LGBT rights issues during the campaign … but appears to have been swayed by conservatives in the administration who argued that the question of bathroom use should be left to the states. He has given conflicting signals about where he stands.”
His administration looks to be split, as Sessions and DeVos clashed on the issue. Sessions, who opposes the expansion of LGBT rights, needs the Justice and Education Department to sign off on the order and is pushing for DeVos to approve it. DeVos is reportedly resistant to revoke transgender rights in public schools, but she appears to have relented in order save her job:
“Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off on the order and told President Trump that she was uncomfortable with it, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions … Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, these Republicans said. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the choice of resigning or defying the president, has agreed to go along.”
But DeVos may have won a compromise, for the new order will reportedly require schools to prevent transgender students from being bullied. The Justice Department is hoping to resolve this issue quickly, and a final order may be on the horizon.