Federal judges consider Idaho’s transgender athletics ban

It’s unclear when a federal appeals court will issue a ruling on Idaho’s transgender athletics ban.

It’s not even clear that the court will issue a definitive ruling, Keith Ridler of the Associated Press reported Monday.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel heard virtual arguments Monday on the 2020 Idaho law, which prohibits transgender women and girls from participating in women’s and girls’ sports. A federal judge has issued an injunction, blocking the law from going into effect.

Lindsay Hecox, a transgender athlete and runner, testifies during a Senate hearing on March 6, 2020. Sami Edge/Idaho EdNews

At one point in Monday’s hearing, Ridler reported, the three-judge panel questioned the relevance of the case, since plaintiff Lindsay Hecox has dropped out of Boise State University after failing to make the cross-country team. Hecox plans to return to school in the fall and try out for cross country again, her attorney said Monday.

Because of Hecox’s status, the court could dismiss the case without ruling on its merits, Ridler reported. An attorney defending Idaho’s law urged the court to issue a decision.

“This is a situation that is live and is going to be ongoing,” said Roger Brooks, an attorney representing a Christian conservative group that supports the Idaho law, according to Ridler.

Since Idaho passed its first-in-the-nation transgender ban, more than 30 state legislatures have considered similar bills, Clark Corbin of Idaho Capital Sun reported in April.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday