Arizona Supt. Tom Horne thinks transgender sports case will end up at Supreme Court
Jul 12, 2023, 1:07 PM
PHOENIX – Arizona’s top education official said Wednesday he’ll go to the U.S. Supreme Court, if needed, to defend a state law that bans transgender girls from participating in school sports.
Citing the conservative lean of the highest court of the land, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show he was confident about the eventual outcome of case.
“The Supreme Court is 6 to 3 now, so I think we’ll be successful in the Supreme Court if it comes to that,” Horne said.
In April, two families filed a federal lawsuit challenging Arizona’s year-old law that prohibits trans girls from competing against biological females in school sports.
“The ban’s exclusion of plaintiffs from participating in school sports because they are transgender denies them equal treatment under the law,” attorneys wrote in the 21-page complaint.
The plaintiffs are an 11-year-old who wants to participate in girls’ soccer, basketball and cross country, and a 15-year-old volleyball player.
Horne is defending the law because he thinks biological females shouldn’t have to compete against biological males.
“The big thing here is the issue of fairness,” Horne said. “It’s cosmically unfair to girls to be unable to excel because they have to compete against males. It makes absolutely no sense.”
Horne took part in a hearing in front of a U.S. District Court judge in Tucson on Monday, opposing an effort by the plaintiffs to have the law temporarily blocked.
“We had arguments on a request for a preliminary injunction,” Horne said. “They want to stop us from enforcing the law right away without giving us a full chance to develop our side of the case.”
Horne said there’s no timetable yet on when the judge will rule on the injunction or when the trial itself would begin.
He’s prepared to appeal the case as far as necessary if the lower court rules against him.
“I believe that this issue will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court,” he said.
LGBTQ+ rights advocates say GOP-backed bills about transgender athletes across the U.S. are anti-trans attacks disguised as protections for children, and that they use trans people as political pawns to galvanize GOP voters ahead of an election year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.