The very conservative United States Supreme Court on Thursday refused to urgently validate a law in West Virginia aimed at prohibiting young transgender girls from enrolling in women’s teams at their schools.
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Its decision, taken by a majority of seven judges out of nine, does not relate to the merits and does not include, as is customary in this type of case, explanations.
Its two most conservative magistrates, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, expressed their disagreement with the majority of their colleagues. “This case concerns an important matter which the Court will probably have to decide in the near future,” they wrote.
In the meantime, the shutdown allows a 12-year-old transgender girl, Becky Pepper-Jackson, to stay on her college track team.
In 2021, she took legal action after her state, West Virginia, passed a law prohibiting students defined as “male” on the basis of their “biology at birth” from joining competitions. women in their school.
After several twists and turns, a Federal Court of Appeal decided on February 22 to freeze the law pending the examination of the merits of the case. West Virginia then turned urgently to the Supreme Court.
“In recent years, biological males who identify as female have increasingly beaten biological females in women’s competitions,” the state wrote in its appeal, asking the court to “protect the equity” in women’s sport.
Becky Pepper-Jackson, who is receiving treatment to block her puberty, “has been on her school’s women’s team for three or four seasons and it hasn’t bothered anyone”, retorted the girl’s lawyers, noting that ‘she always ends up at the back of the peloton.
On Thursday, his defenders rejoiced at the decision. “We are grateful to the Supreme Court for having recognized that there was no urgency”, commented the powerful civil rights organization ACLU in a press release, denouncing a “cruel and unfounded appeal”.
The rights of transgender people have been at the heart of many legal battles for years, but the Supreme Court has so far avoided getting involved, with one exception: in 2020, it ruled against a funeral director who fired a transgender employee after she transitioned.