Former a.g.’s push for veto of transgender bill


Five former Idaho attorneys general — four Republicans and a Democrat — are urging Gov. Brad Little to veto a transgender athletics bill.

In their letter, sent Tuesday, the former attorneys general cite a Feb. 25 opinion from current Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office, which raised several legal concerns with the bill.

“(Wasden) has frequently cautioned against passage of legally suspect legislation and has a good record of being correct,” the former attorneys general wrote. “He has urged awaiting the outcome of currently pending federal cases relating to this issue. Disregarding his sound advice has been costly for our state. It could well be with regard to House Bill 500.”

Dubbed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act by its sponsors, HB 500 would ban transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports. In the Feb. 25 opinion, Wasden’s office said the bill could violate student-athletes’ 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause; might violate the Title IX federal law that ensures girls and women have equal access to school sports; and might violate the federal Commerce Clause, by requiring the NCAA to follow a state law on transgender athletes.

Republicans Jim Jones, Wayne Kidwell, Al Lance and David Leroy and Democrat Tony Park co-signed the letter. Taken together, they served as attorney general for 28 years.

The Senate passed an amended version of HB 500 late Monday afternoon. If the House approves the amended bill, it will go to Little’s desk.


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]

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