According to the office of the state’s attorney general, West Virginia has asked the Supreme Court to take “emergency action” so that the state can enforce its law that prohibits transgender women from competing on female school sports teams. The law in question prohibits transgender women from wearing the uniform of the same gender in which they identify.
The enforcement of a law was halted by a divided federal appeals court earlier this month while the panel considers a comprehensive challenge to the law.
The application to lift the injunction was submitted to the Supreme Court on Thursday, according to a spokesperson for West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), who is also the state’s Republican attorney general. The appeal has not yet been docketed before the Supreme Court.
The bill, which was passed and signed into law almost two years ago, makes it illegal for transgender women and girls to take part in female athletics at public middle schools, high schools, or universities.
According to what was written in the state’s application, “The choice needed to be made by the West Virginia Legislature.” The conclusion of this action will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was a valid one. In the meanwhile, the Court ought to disapprove of the unjustified injunction issued by the Fourth Circuit and should for the law that was duly passed by the state to be put back into operation.
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A transgender girl of the same age who goes by the initials “B.P.J.” in court documents and is represented by her mother because she is a minor is challenging the law on the grounds that it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. The girl, who is 12 years old, is identified by the initials “B.P.J.” in the documents.
The case provides an opportunity for the Supreme Court justices to offer their opinions on transgender athletes for the very first time. This comes at a time when Republicans at the local and federal levels are looking more and more to establish limitations. A transgender boy who sued over access to the boys’ bathroom at his school received a favorable judgement from a lower court last year, but the Supreme Court chose not to reconsider the decision.
During the earlier stages of the legal proceeding, a federal trial judge who had been appointed by former President Bill Clinton had halted the execution of the West Virginia legislation. When some time had passed, however, the judge changed his mind and rendered a verdict in favor of the state.
In a decision made one month ago, a panel of three appeals court judges allowed B.P.J.’s move to stop enforcement while the panel evaluated the appeal in its entirety. The decision was made in favor of B.P.J. by the two judges who were selected by the Democrats, but the one judge who was nominated by the Republicans did not agree.
The state wrote to the justices-
“The Fourth Circuit’s unreasoned injunction silently adopting this thinking also does real damage on the ground” “It spurns West Virginia voters who deserve to have their laws enforced when their elected representatives respond to an identified problem. States should continue to have the right to legislate—even in politically controversial areas— without unexplained reversals from on high.”
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