The second circuit throws a challenge to a transgender athlete from Connecticut

The families wanted the court to pay damages, prevent the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference from enforcing its policy allowing transgender athletes to compete and change track records for certain past events to remove prizes won by two transgender girls.

“Like the District Court, we are not satisfied, as to the claim for an injunction to change records, that the plaintiffs have in fact proven damage and the compensation requirements to stand; both fail on grounds of conjecture,” the panel of judges wrote.

They added, “Because we concluded that the CIAC and its member schools did not have sufficient notice that the policy violated Title IX—in fact, they noted to the contrary—the plaintiffs’ claims for damages should be dismissed.” Title IX is a federal education law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

The justices also relied on past circuit decisions and the Supreme Court’s historical opinion on Bostock v. Clayton CountyAnd the which states that it is unlawful to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation in the workplace.

“Title IX includes language similar to that in Title VII, and broadly prohibits discrimination ‘on the basis of sex,’” the justices wrote. “Thus, it cannot be argued that the policy—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of a student’s transgender status by allowing all students to participate— in gender groups consistent with their gender identity – “falls within the scope of the prohibition of Law IX”.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents two of the transgender athletes who intervened in the case, praised the ruling’s decision, which concluded that the coalition and its clients lacked prestige.

“The court rejected the unsubstantiated arguments I made in opposition to this policy, ultimately finding that transgender girls have the same right to play as cisgender girls under the law,” said Joshua Block, ACLU LGBTQ & HIV senior staff attorney. ninth”. project. “This decisive victory strikes at the heart of the political attacks against transgender youth while helping to ensure that every young person has the right to play.”

Main context: soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, Inc. He gained the support of the Trump administration early on. Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos The state’s sports authority and school boards threatened legal action or loss of funding Because her department determined the transgender athletes policy violated Title IX. The Department of Justice was also directed to file a statement of interest in the case and claimed that the government had a “substantial interest in the proper interpretation of Article IX”.

Since then, the Biden administration has withdrawn its support for the cause. And while many conservative states have pushed for restrictions on transgender athletes, including by passing new laws they say are necessary to protect women’s sports, transgender women have been allowed to compete in women’s categories at the Olympics since 2003 and in the NCAA since 2010. .

The Connecticut Association of Schools and its Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference division are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The lawsuit also names the school boards of the Bloomfield, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Canton and Danbury school districts as defendants.

What’s Next: They are “evaluating all legal options, including appeal,” said Christiana Kiefer, senior counsel for the Coalition to Defend Freedom.

“Our clients — like all mathematics — deserve access to fair competition,” Kiefer said, adding that many states were leading the push against the interpretation. “Currently, 18 states have enacted laws that protect women and girls from having to compete against males, and polls show that a majority of Americans agree that competition is no longer fair when males are allowed to compete in women’s sports… The ADF remains committed to protecting the future of women’s sports” .

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