Appeals Court Upholds Block On Idaho Law Banning Biological Men From Competing In Women’s Student Athletics

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A federal appeals court upheld a block Thursday on Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act which bans biological men from competing in women’s student athletics.

The United States District Court for the District of Idaho had previously blocked the Idaho Women’s Fairness in Sport Act from being enforced after the ACLU sued on behalf of a biological male who wanted to compete in women’s track, claiming that the law violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and after the district court agreed, the state of Idaho and Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little appealed that decision, according to the opinion of the court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the block and denied the appeal, saying that it is likely that the plaintiffs would succeed with their claim that the act violated the equal protection clause. (RELATED: Red State House Legislators Vote To Override Dem Governor’s Veto Of Bill Banning Child Sex Changes)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 20: Track and field athlete Selina Soule speaks during an event celebrating the House of Representatives passing The Protection Of Women And Girls In Sports Act outside the U.S. Capitol on April 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it found, on the record before it, that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the Act violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the opinion reads.

Similar laws have been enacted in other Republican states. Indiana banned biological men from competing in women’s sports in public schools in May 2022. Florida did so in June 2021; meanwhile, Kansas banned biological men from women’s sports in public schools in March 2023.

“Because the Act subjects only women and girls who wish to participate in public school athletic competitions to an intrusive sex verification process and categorically bans transgender women and girls at all levels, regardless of whether they have gone through puberty or hormone therapy from competing on female, women, or girls teams, and because the State of Idaho failed to adduce any evidence demonstrating that the Act is substantially related to its asserted interests in sex equality and opportunity for women athletes, the panel held that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their equal protection claim,” the opinion reads.

Little and the ACLU did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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