UNITED STATES NEWS

Federal appeals court overturns West Virginia transgender sports ban

Apr 16, 2024, 8:22 AM | Updated: 9:02 am

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned a West Virginia transgender sports ban, finding that the law violates Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools.

The 2-1 ruling Tuesday from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocks a West Virginia law banning transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams.

The court said the law cannot lawfully be applied to a 13-year-old girl who has been taking puberty-blocking medication and publicly identified as a girl since she was in the third grade.

In February 2023, the court had blocked the state’s bid to kick Becky Pepper Jackson off her middle school track and field team if the law were enforced.

The court Tuesday ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, its West Virginia chapter and LGBTQ interest group Lambda Legal, which filed a lawsuit in 2021 against the state and county boards of education and their superintendents as defendants. Republican Gov. Jim Justice had signed a bill into law earlier that year.

“This is a tremendous victory for our client, transgender West Virginians, and the freedom of all youth to play as who they are,” ACLU West Virginia attorney Joshua Block said in a statement.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, said he was “deeply disappointed” in the decision.

“I will keep fighting to safeguard Title IX. We must keep working to protect women’s sports so that women’s safety is secured and girls have a truly fair playing field,” the Attorney General added. “We know the law is correct and will use every available tool to defend it.”

Sports participation is one of the main fronts in legislative and legal battles in recent years over the role of transgender people in U.S. public life. Most Republican-controlled states have passed restrictions on participation, as well as bans on gender-affirming health care for minors. Several have also restricted which bathrooms and locker rooms transgender people can use, particularly in schools.

West Virginia is one of at least 24 states with a law on the books barring transgender women and girls from competing in certain women’s or girls sports competitions.

The bans are in effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

In addition to West Virginia, judges have temporarily put enforcement of the bans on hold in Arizona, Idaho and Utah.

A ban in Ohio is to take effect later this month.

The Biden administration originally planned to release a new federal Title IX rule — the law forbids discrimination based on sex in education — addressing both campus sexual assault and transgender athletes. Earlier this year, the department decided to split them into separate rules, and the athletics rule now remains in limbo.

Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision blocking a ban on transgender athletes competing in girls and women’s sports in Idaho.

The 2nd Circuit ruled differently last year in a challenge to Connecticut’s policy of letting transgender girls compete in girls sports, reviving the case and sending it back to a lower court without ruling on its merits.

United States News

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June. Officials for the com...

Associated Press

Boeing’s 1st astronaut flight now set for June after a review of small leak on new capsule

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch in early June, after spending weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit filed in the death of dancer with a peanut allergy who died after eating mislabeled cookie

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The estate of a young dancer who died after eating a mislabeled cookie containing peanuts has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the failure to properly label the package was grossly negligent. Órla Ruth Baxendale, 25, died Jan. 11 after eating a Florentine cookie sold by grocery retailer Stew Leonard’s and […]

4 hours ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Lara Trump touts RNC changes and a 2024 presidential victory for Trump in North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — To a room full of Republicans from across North Carolina on Friday, former President Donald Trump railed against the Biden administration and vowed to win in the state for a third time — all over a speaker phone call after his son Eric Trump dialed him on stage. “I just want […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Nevada voter ID initiative can appear on 2024 ballot with enough signatures, state high court says

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — An initiative that would amend the Nevada Constitution to require that voters show photo identification at the polls can appear on the 2024 ballot as long as organizers collect enough signatures, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday. Organizers must gather just over 100,000 valid signatures by June 26 for it to […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Florida priest accused of biting woman who grabbed Holy Communion wafers during Mass

ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) — The Diocese of Orlando is defending a Catholic priest accused of biting a woman who tried to grab Holy Communion wafers during Mass at a central Florida church. The confrontation occurred Sunday afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Police have forwarded a report to prosecutors accusing […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Federal appeals court overturns West Virginia transgender sports ban