Washington – The Department of Justice told a Connecticut federal court on Wednesday it was withdrawing its support for a lawsuit by three high school students in the state challenging rules involving transgender student-athletes.
In a short filing with the US District Court, the Biden administration stated that “the government has reconsidered the matter and hereby notifies the Court that it is withdrawing its expression of interest.”
The case was brought last year by three high school students who compete in interschool girls’ track and field in Connecticut. The student-athletes argued that a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy allowing students to participate in athletic competitions based on their gender identity violates Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex by institutions that receive federal dollars.
Due to Connecticut’s new body rules, two transgender athletes were allowed to compete in women’s track and field competitions starting in the 2017 season. But the students argued they were denied the opportunity to participate in national and regional gatherings and to access college scholarships as they competed against transgender girls who had a sporting advantage.
In March 2020, the Trump administration filed a declaration of interest signed by then Attorney General William Barr in the case expressing support for students challenging the policy.
“Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit discrimination only ‘on the basis of sex’, and not on the basis of transgender status, and therefore neither requires nor authorizes the transgender policy of the CWC. ” , said the Justice Department under the previous administration in court. “On the contrary, the construction of Title IX by the CIAC as requiring the participation of students in sports teams that reflect their gender identity would reverse the status.”
But President Biden signed on his first day in office an executive order focusing on “preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to toilets, changing rooms or school sports,” said the decree.