Trans girl can run girls track in West Virginia
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a 12-year-old transgender girl in West Virginia to continue competing on girls’ junior high school sports teams, though lawsuits over the state’s ban continue.
A judge refused to block an appeals court order allowing daughter Becky Pepper-Jackson to continue playing on the school’s track and cross-country teams.
Judges Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas would have allowed West Virginia to enforce that law against Pepper Jackson.
Pepper Jackson is in the middle of the outdoor track season. She had filed a lawsuit challenging her 2021 law, the Save Women’s Sports Act, passed by West Virginia legislators. A federal appeals court had allowed her to appear while she appealed the lower court’s ruling upholding her West Virginia law.
Two weeks ago, athletics banned transgender athletes from international competition. West Virginia has banned transgender athletes from participating in sports that match their gender identity, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a think tank that advocates for LGBTQ2S+ rights. is.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (Republican) also recently signed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors.
West Virginia school athletics laws prohibit transgender players from participating in women’s teams. The law, signed by Justice, defines males and females by looking at a student’s “reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” It applies not only to middle school and high school, but also to universities.
Under the law, male athletes can play on male or coed teams, and female athletes can play on all teams.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova was one of dozens of female athletes who supported West Virginia on the Supreme Court, along with 21 state Republican Attorneys General.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin initially barred West Virginia from enforcing that law, allowing Pepper Jackson to compete on the women’s team while the lawsuit continues.
But Goodwin eventually found that the law did not violate the Constitution or the landmark 1972 Gender Equality Act, Title IX. Goodwin, former President Bill Clinton’s appointee, has ruled that the law may remain in place while the appeal continues.
The girl’s attorney, known in the lawsuit by the initials BPJ, appealed. has been put on hold.
The two Court of Appeals judges who voted to suspend the law were former President Barack Obama’s appointee Pamela A. Harris and President Joe Biden’s appointee Toby J. Haytens. Judge G. Stephen Agee, nominated by former President George W. Bush, dissented.
The Supreme Court did not provide a justification for its action on Thursday.
Dissent, Alito wrote, “I grant the state’s application. Above all, enforcement of the law at issue should not be barred by a federal court without explanation.” Thomas joined the dissent.
West Virginia, asking the High Court to allow the law to take effect while the case is ongoing, told the judge: Appeals…the decision is made by the West Virginia Legislature, and the conclusion of this case confirms that a valid case has been filed.”
Pepper Jackson is identified by her initials in court documents due to federal regulations prohibiting the identification of minors. However, Pepper Jackson and her mother have repeatedly spoken out on the issue.