Supreme Court Doesn't Enact Transgender Athlete Restriction

West Virginia law isn't in effect while it's being challenged
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2023 5:55 PM CDT
Supreme Court Doesn't Enact Transgender Athlete Restriction
The Supreme Court Building in February.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The Supreme Court on Thursday passed on a chance to put a state law into effect that would prohibit transgender athletes from playing on female school sports teams. The 2021 West Virginia law, which would apply to students in middle school through college, is on hold while an appeals court decides whether it's constitutional. The state asked that the court enact the law in the meantime, the Washington Post reports. Thursday's decision was not on the merits of the challenge to the law. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. said they supported the state's request to allow the legislation to go through.

The West Virginia law is being fought by Becky Pepper-Jackson, 12, who's trying to stay on the girls track team at her middle school. It's the first time the Supreme Court has taken up restrictions placed on transgender athletes. Also on Thursday, the Education Department proposed a rule that would prohibit barring trans students from playing on sports teams aligned with their gender identity. The rule would apply to all schools and colleges that receive federal funding, per the AP. There's leeway in the proposal for schools to come up with eligibility rules to ensure fairness and limit the risk of injuries, which could lead to restrictions on trans athletes. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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