MAR 14, 2023
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined attorneys general from 20 other states today in filing a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to remove an injunction blocking West Virginia’s enforcement of its Save Women’s Sports Act. That law would prevent biological males from participating on female sports teams and taking athletic opportunities away from females. Under the Act, all biological males, including those who identify as transgender, are ineligible for participation on female sports teams.
“Basic fairness in sports has always been a principle that we all follow, whether it be age or other criteria. We should follow it here as well,” Attorney General Wilson said.
In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 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.
The brief explains that the Fourth Circuit improperly enjoined West Virginia’s statute after a district court had held it constitutional. Additionally, the brief argues that the U.S. Constitution “does not compel West Virginia to classify biological males as girls,” though the plaintiff in the case is seeking to compel the state to “adjust the contours” of the “state’s definition of ‘girl’ and boy.’” The brief also explains that forcing states to define sex on the basis of gender-identity would make other laws unworkable as states cannot “coherently classify men and women based on private, ‘internal,’ ‘fluid’ feelings that might not even be ‘visible to others.’”
The brief can be accessed here. Other states joining the brief include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
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