NEW YORK CITY – In a Title IX case brought by cisgender plaintiffs challenging Connecticut’s inclusive student athletic policy, the Second Circuit sent the case back to the district court for the district court to decide whether or not the policy violated Title IX. The narrow and technical ruling, issued by all the active judges on the court, held that the case should not have been dismissed by the district court on procedural grounds but emphasized that the transgender athletes, represented by the ACLU and ACLU of Connecticut, “did nothing wrong” and that its ruling did not mean that the cisgender girls actually have a valid Title IX claim.
The ACLU and the ACLU of Connecticut issued the following joint statement:
“Today’s narrow decision lays a strong foundation for the district courts to reject these baseless claims on the merits. We look forward to continuing our fight for equality and fairness for all girls, cisgender and transgender alike.”
In 2018, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) was sued by the Alliance Defending Freedom–an organization that advocates for laws denying transgender people’s rights in schools, health care, and workplaces–over the participation of Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, two transgender high school track runners who participated under the CIAC’s participation policy. The ACLU and ACLU Foundation of Connecticut are representing Miller and Yearwood.
The ACLU and its nationwide affiliate network are also challenging categorical bans on the participation of transgender student-athletes in Idaho, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In August 2023, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction against an Idaho law barring transgender athletes from participating in student athletics, finding the law likely violates the rights of transgender students under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
For more on Soule et al v. CT Association of Schools et al, click here: https://www.acluct.org/en/cases/soule-et-al-v-ct-association-schools-et-al