BOISE, IDAHO — A federal lawsuit challenging Idaho’s ban on transgender athletes in women’s sports is likely to go ahead after both sides agree that the woman who sued will again attended Boise State University and competed in the school’s track and field.
In 2020, Idaho became the first state in the nation to ban transgender women and girls from competing on women’s sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. Several GOP-led states have followed suit, and the case from Lindsay Hecox could set a precedent for whether such policies violate federal anti-discrimination rules.
The American Civil Liberties Union and women’s rights group Legal Voice sued Idaho on behalf of Hecox, who was hoping to run for Boise State University. A non-transgender Boise-area high school athlete is also a plaintiff in the case because she fears the law could force her to undergo invasive tests to prove her biological sex if someone doubt her gender.
Hecox and the other plaintiff, who was not named in the lawsuit, argued that the law violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protections Clause because it is discriminatory and that the First Amendment protections are protected. privacy against invasion of privacy because of mandatory checks if an athlete’s gender is challenged.
A federal judge has temporarily put the law in effect while the case is decided.
But last year, the case stalled after Hecox withdrew from Boise State University after failing to qualify for the cross country team. State attorneys general said the case was contested, but Hecox’s attorneys said she plans to re-register and try again for follow-up. The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals turned the case back to a federal judge in Idaho to decide whether the case is still relevant.
On Wednesday, attorneys for both sides filed a rule in Idaho federal court agreeing that Hecox is currently enrolled at BSU, that she joined the BSU Women’s Club Soccer team, and She plans to try out for the university’s cross country team when the season rolls around. open this fall. Julie Veroff, one of Hecox’s attorneys, said since Idaho’s ban also applies to university sports clubs, it’s clear the case isn’t up for debate.
A decision by the federal appeals court in this case could be forthcoming soon, as the case has been fully debated before a circuit panel of judges and has only been sent back to Idaho so the judge can decide. Motivational question.
“Once the court (Idaho District) makes that decision, perhaps the case goes back to the 9th,” Veroff said.
The Idaho Attorney General’s office declined to comment.
Proponents of the ban argue that allowing transgender girls and women to compete on women’s teams negates the progress women have made since federal law was passed in 1972. Open sport to female athletes. But opponents have invoked the same Title IX civil rights law as it prohibits discrimination based on sex.
The question of whether transgender women athletes have an unfair advantage over transgender competitors is largely new territory for US courts, but similar cases are playing out in the West. Virginia and Florida. The outcome of the Hecox case ‘could establish a legal basis for other states in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, including Montana, which has issued its own injunction banning transgender athletes from entering the U.S. Court of Appeals. last year.
In the West Virginia case, a federal judge last summer temporarily blocked the transgender athlete’s ban after the ACLU sued on behalf of an 11-year-old transgender girl who had hoped to try out for her school’s cross-country team. A trial in that case is scheduled for July.
The Florida case was brought by a middle-aged transgender girl who said the restraining order violated Title IX. Earlier this year, a federal judge suspended the case until a federal appeals court ruled in another Florida case brought by a transgender student who was banned from using the bathroom. boys at his Florida high school.
The NCAA, the governing body for interscholastic sports, changed its policy towards transgender athletes earlier this year. For more than a decade, the NCAA has said transgender female athletes can participate in women’s sports after undergoing a year of hormone therapy. The new rules, introduced in January, say each sport’s national governing body will set its own policy for transgender student athletes.