Federal judge blasts colleagues for overturning law banning boys from girls’ sports: ‘Turns Title IX on its head’

A federal appeals court has struck down a West Virginia law protecting the fairness of school athletics.

In 2021, West Virginia passed the Save Women’s Sports Act, making it one of the first states in the United States to protect fairness in sports.

of the law requires it All student-athletes must participate in a team or event that matches their “biological sex as indicated on the athlete’s original birth certificate issued at the time of birth.” The law does not completely prohibit students who identify as transgender from participating in sports. Rather, it prohibits biological boys from playing on teams with biological girls, and vice versa. This is an important difference.

On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that the law violates the Title IX rights of Becky Pepper Jackson, a biological boy who calls himself a girl.

court control:

The problem before us is that a 13-year-old transgender girl who has been taking puberty-blocking drugs and has been openly female since third grade is joining her school’s cross country and track teams. The question is whether this law can be applied to legally prevent people from doing so. We don’t think it can be done.

Pepper Jackson and the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents her, have been litigating the law for years. This ruling is a clear victory for them.

However, due to the unique circumstances of the case, the ruling is within a narrow range. Pepper Jackson has lived as a woman for more than half of her life, including that she took puberty suppressants for years and even had her gender changed on her birth certificate. It will be done.

It is unclear whether the court would have ruled differently in the case of a student-athlete who had recently begun identifying as transgender.

Still, Justice G. Stephen Agee wrote in a scathing dissent that the majority opinion has significant consequences.

“Regardless of the potential benefits, the majority holds that transgender girls are in a similar position to biological girls, and therefore separating sports teams by biological sex is discrimination against transgender girls. ’s decision has far-reaching implications under Title IX,” he wrote.

Aggie continued:

This means that even though transgender girls have passed puberty, even though it is even clearer that they have significant physiological advantages over biological girls, states may This means that girls cannot be excluded from sports teams. And recognizing transgender women – no matter the benefits – as participants in biological women’s sports would upend Title IX and do what Title IX has done to promote women’s sports since its inception. It would reverse a monumental effort.

After the verdict, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey (R) said: swore Continuing the right to protect women’s sports. The battle will likely include an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Agee said the appeal could not happen soon.

“We can only hope that the Supreme Court uses this opportunity judiciously to resolve these issues of national importance,” the justices wrote.

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