Judge blocks Idaho law preventing transgender women from playing women's sports

Judge blocks Idaho law preventing transgender women from playing women's sports
© iStock

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked an Idaho law that bans transgender women from playing women’s sports, saying the law is unlikely to hold up in court.

U.S. District Judge David Nye, who was appointed by President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE, issued a temporary injunction for the law, meaning in the fall transgender girls and women will be permitted to participate in college and secondary school women’s sports, according to court documents

Nye’s ruling said the lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), was “likely to succeed” in future proceedings, prompting him to issue the injunction.

ADVERTISEMENT

The ruling said the restriction on transgender athletes “stands in stark contrast to the policies of elite athletic bodies that regulate sports both nationally and globally.”

“The Court recognizes that this decision is likely to be controversial,” Nye wrote. “While the citizens of Idaho are likely to either vehemently oppose, or fervently support, the Act, the Constitution must always prevail.”

The judge also noted the law’s “‘dispute’ process” that would allow any person to challenge an athlete’s gender, requiring them to confirm it through an exam or genetic testing, the Idaho Statesman reported

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of Lindsay Hecox, a transgender Boise State University student, and an unnamed cisgender Boise High School student who is worried about the possible testing.

Ritchie Eppink, the legal director for the ACLU of Idaho, said in a press release that the injunction was a “welcome first step.”

“Transgender people belong in Idaho, including on school sports teams,” he said. “This decision will not only protect women and girls, but also the Idaho economy as businesses have made it clear that they do not want to support any attack on transgender students.”

The law is one of two that restrict transgender rights, passed the legislature and were signed into law by Gov. Brad Little (R) this year. 

The second law, which prohibited transgender people from altering their birth certificate to match their gender identity was rejected by U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale, who said it violated a court order from 2018, according to the Statesman.