Hecox v. Little
Public Justice joined an amici brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit in support of the plaintiffs, two student-athletes—one transgender and one cisgender—who are challenging an Idaho law that bans transgender women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. The law requires proof of “biological sex” and uses criteria that intentionally disqualify all women and girls who are transgender, and many who are intersex. Laws like this are detrimental to all women and girls—transgender and cisgender alike. By requiring “proof” of sex, Idaho’s law threatens to intrude upon the privacy and bodily autonomy of all women and girls engaged in student athletics.
The amici brief focuses on the ways the Idaho law violates Title IX, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which held that Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex includes based on gender identity. The brief also shows how policies like Idaho’s create particular harms for Black and brown girls and women. The law wields old stereotypes regarding athleticism, biology, and gender against transgender girls—especially girls of color—who are frequently told outright that they are not girls. This policing of gender has been used to justify subjecting transgender students to numerous additional barriers to participating in sports, from onerous medical requirements to outright bans on participation.
- Adele Kimmel
National Women’s Law Center
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Hogan Lovells US LLP