US Supreme Court refuses to reinstate West Virginia ban on transgender athletes News
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US Supreme Court refuses to reinstate West Virginia ban on transgender athletes

The US Supreme Court Thursday refused to reinstate West Virginia’s ban on transgender athletes. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented. They would have granted the state’s application and allowed the law to be enforced. The justices also reproached the lower courts for staying the law without explanation.

In 2021, West Virginia passed a law that prohibited people assigned male at birth from competing on girls sports teams. The law stated that “[b]iological males would displace females to a substantial extent if permitted to compete on teams designated for biological females.” Furthermore, the state claimed that the separation was necessary to promote equal opportunity for girls.

A lower court stayed enforcement of the law until the case was resolved, and West Virginia made an emergency application to the Supreme Court to lift the hold. Now, after the Supreme Court’s denial, the case will be litigated in the lower court on the merits.

Becky Pepper-Jackson, a 12-year-old transgender girl, challenged the law. Becky has identified as a girl since the fourth grade and has participated on the girls’ track team throughout middle school. To remain on the team, Becky challenged the law’s constitutionality in court. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Becky “is challenging the discriminatory law because she is sure there are other kids like her in West Virginia and she doesn’t want them to miss out on the opportunities that come with being involved in sports.”