Supreme Court calls for debate on transgender athletes
The Supreme Court in the United States will give a verdict in the transgender case.
The conservative U.S. Supreme Court was asked Friday to intervene in the case of a transgender woman who wants to join her college’s women’s running team. It is the first time the high court has been called upon to rule on the place of transgender women in women’s sports, a hotly debated political debate across the United States.
Specifically, the filing is related to a law adopted by West Virginia in 2021 that, like many conservative states, prohibits students defined as “male at birth” from participating in female competitions. Once it was passed, the law was challenged in court by Beckville Pepper-Jackson, then an 11-year-old transgender woman who wanted to join her school’s cross-country team. After several twists and turns, a federal appeals court on February 22 decided to freeze the law while it waits to examine the merits of the case.
West Virginia quickly turned to the Supreme Court to strike down the ban, so that its law would apply until the practice continued.
No substantive conclusion
“In recent years, biological men who identify as women have increasingly defeated biological women in women’s competitions,” she wrote in her appeal, asking the court to “preserve fairness” in women’s sports. West Virginia called Becky Pepper-Jackson’s case “talking about elite athletics,” and several associations supporting her — including the powerful ACLU — hit back in a news release.
The teenage girl was able to compete in races “she often finished last” but “her mother never saw her so happy”, her lawyers underlined in the court document. The Supreme Court is not called upon to rule on the merits at this stage and may simply affirm or reverse the decision of the Court of Appeal without further ado.
So far, he has avoided getting involved in legal battles over transgender rights, except for a ruling on workplace discrimination: In 2020 he defended a funeral home that fired a transgender employee after he transitioned.
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