Ruling on transgender athletics law expected by August


A federal judge will decide by Aug. 10 on a lawsuit over Idaho’s transgender athletics ban, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported Wednesday.

Chief U.S. District Judge David Nye said he will expedite a ruling so all parties will know whether an injunction is in place before fall sports tryouts begin, Nathan Brown of the Post Register reported.

Nye heard arguments Wednesday for and against the first-in-its-nation law — dubbed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act by its supporters —which prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports. The 2020 Legislature passed the bill, nearly along party lines, and Gov. Brad Little signed it into law on March 30.

Opponents filed their lawsuit barely two weeks later.

Talking points from Brown’s coverage of Wednesday’s arguments:

“(The law) hangs over the head of every woman and girl athlete in the state who knows that at any time, someone could come in and challenge her sex,” said Elizabeth Prelogar of Cooley LLP, arguing in favor of a court injunction.

“This isn’t about some nasty animus against transgender girls and women,” deputy attorney general Scott Zanzig said. “What it is, is a decision the Legislature made and had the authority to make without violating the Constitution that they were drawing the line at biology.”

While the lawsuit continues, opponents are petitioning the NCAA to pull athletic events out of the state — including opening round games in the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, slated for Boise. The NCAA is expected to take up the issue in August. Last week, Little discussed the issue with a top NCAA executive.



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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