Boise, ID – Attorney General Raúl Labrador joined Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin and attorneys general from 18 other states today in filing an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s injunction blocking West Virginia’s enforcement of its Save Women’s Sports Act, which prevents biological males from participating on female sports teams and taking athletic opportunities away from females. Under the Act, all biological males, including those who identify as transgender, are ineligible for participation on female sports teams.
“Female athletes find themselves in the middle of a culture war they never asked to be in. Women are expected to compete against biological males in order to placate a small minority of Americans. Women competing with biological males is unfair and places them at a competitive disadvantage,” Attorney General Labrador said. “The move to allow biological men to compete against women has resulted in the exclusion of women from championship titles and possible college scholarships—rewards female athletes spend their entire youth to achieve. We cannot allow this to continue and must fight to protect women’s athletics.”
In a 2-1 ruling, the appeals court reinstated a preliminary injunction the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia had initially issued against the Act in July 2021. In a later ruling this past January, the same district court dissolved that preliminary injunction, holding that the state legislature’s definition of “girl” and “woman” in the context of HB 3293 (Save Women’s Sports Act) is “constitutionally permissible”—and that the law complies with Title IX.
The brief explains that the Fourth Circuit improperly enjoined West Virginia’s statute after a district court had held it constitutional. Additionally, the brief argues that the U.S. Constitution “does not compel West Virginia to classify biological males as girls,” though the plaintiff in the case is seeking to compel the state to “adjust the contours” of the “state’s definition of ‘girl’ and boy.’” The brief also explains that forcing states to define sex on the basis of gender-identity would make other laws unworkable as states cannot “coherently classify men and women based on private, ‘internal,’ ‘fluid’ feelings that might not even be ‘visible to others.’”
The brief can be accessed here. Other states joining the brief include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.