Federal judge temporarily blocks Idaho law targeting transgender athletes News
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Federal judge temporarily blocks Idaho law targeting transgender athletes

Chief Judge David Nye of the US District Court District of Idaho on Monday temporarily blocked the first state law passed to ban transgender women from competing in women’s sports.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho in April on behalf of Lindsay Hecox and three other students who are challenging the constitutionality of HB 500, which excludes transgender athletes from competing in school sports and places requirements on schools to “verify the student’s biological sex” in the event any athlete’s gender is “disputed.” The new law was one of a pair of transgender restrictions recently passed in Idaho. The other, HB 509, sought to prohibit transgender individuals from changing their biological sex on their birth certificates. Both laws are currently facing legal challenges and have been blocked by preliminary injunctions.

Nye granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and, after recognizing the decision to be controversial among many citizens in Idaho, stated “the Constitution must always prevail.”

Additionally, in considering whether Hecox is likely to prevail, a critical component of the legal standard for issuing an injunction, Nye considered the recent Supreme Court decision in Bostock, which held that “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being … transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

In June, 60 prominent civil rights organizations and LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations called for the complete ban of all NCAA sponsored sporting events in Idaho in response to Idaho’s “dangerous anti-transgender legislation” because the law is contrary to the NCAA inclusion policies for transgender student-athletes.