Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Keeping Transgender Athletes Out of Girls Sports

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Keeping Transgender Athletes Out of Girls Sports Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Keeping Transgender Athletes Out of Girls Sports (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP)

By Jeremy Frankel | Sunday, 25 April 2021 10:51 PM

A federal judge on Sunday dismissed a Connecticut lawsuit that would have barred transgender athletes from competing against girls in high school sports.

The Hill reports that the suit, filed in February 2020 by a group of high school girls, attempted to bar transgender girls from competing in their track events due to unfair competition.

The suit was filed against numerous school boards, as well as the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), which manages the state’s school sports. CIAC’s policy allows athletes to participate in the sports affiliated with their gender identities, as opposed to their biological genders.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny dismissed the suit on Sunday, stating that, since the two transgender student athletes identified in the lawsuit had already graduated, the issue was moot and the case was “not justiciable at this time.”

Previously, former Attorney General William Barr had argued that the Connecticut policy violated Title IX by not guaranteeing girls equal access to sports, but the Biden Justice Department withdrew federal support for the suit earlier this year.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a statement celebrating the ruling, calling it “good news for transgender students in Connecticut and around the country.” It also noted that “[T]oday’s ruling shows that allowing transgender students to fully participate in school — including sports — is consistent with existing federal law.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented the plaintiffs, said that it plans to appeal the suit’s dismissal. The ADF argued that Title IX was denied to the plaintiffs due to inherent physiological advantages that the transgender athletes had over the biological female athletes.

More than 20 states have introduced legislation requiring transgender athletes to compete in sports exclusively with their biological sex. Five states have signed these bills into law—Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and, most recently, Alabama.