Friday, April 7, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to enforce West Virginia trans athlete ban

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has ruled that transgender athletes in West Virginia can compete on female school sports teams in response to a challenge by the state to allow it to enforce a law that prohibits such athletes from doing so.

In a brief, unsigned order, the justices denied the state’s emergency request to lift an appeals court’s injunction, which enabled a transgender girl to compete on her middle school’s female teams until the three-judge panel reaches a final decision.

West Virginia in 2021 became the seventh Republican state in the nation to enact a law prohibiting transgender women and girls from competing on female sports teams. The measure, officially titled the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” bars transgender female athletes from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity in public elementary schools, high schools and universities.

A lawsuit filed the following month by civil rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal on behalf of Becky Pepper-Jackson, a now-12-year-old transgender girl, alleges the law is unconstitutional because it discriminates based on sex and transgender status.

A divided three-judge panel on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a February ruling blocked the ban’s enforcement.  The appeals panel is now set to hear the student athlete’s appeal in full and we have to wait its ruling, but surelly this issue will come back to the SCOTUS in the near future to the final decision.

 As a minor, Becky is formally represented and supported by her mother

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