CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVDN) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Thursday that his office is filing an application at the Supreme Court to vacate the injunction pending appeal against the state’s Save Women’s Sports Act.
“This simple law (Save Women’s Sports Act) demands that girls and women get their fair share of opportunities in sports,” Morrisey said. “The recent injunction decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a minor setback, but we remain confident in the merits of our defense. We are resolute in protecting opportunities for women and girls in sports because when biological males win in a women’s event — as has happened time and again — female athletes lose their opportunity to shine.”
In a recent 2-1 ruling, the appeals court reinstated a preliminary injunction the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia had initially issued against the Act in July 2021. In a later ruling this past January, the same district court dissolved that preliminary injunction, holding that the state legislature’s definition of “girl” and “woman” in the context of HB 3293 (Save Women’s Sports Act) is “constitutionally permissible” — and that the law complies with Title IX.
Morrisey argued in his Supreme Court filing Thursday that the injunction “harms biologically female athletes, too, who will continue to be displaced as long as biological males join women’s sports teams. In that way, the majority’s cursory decision undermines equal protection — it doesn’t advance it.”
Under HB 3293, all biological males, including those who identify as transgender girls, are ineligible for participation on girls’ sports teams.
The challenge to that law came from a student at Bridgeport Middle School identified in court papers as “BPJ,” who is a biological male identifying as a female. Attorneys for BPJ argued that HB 3293 violates BPJ’s rights under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Title IX was signed into law on June 23, 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government.