U.S. Supreme Court rules to prohibit enforcement of West Virginia’s ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’

By Matthew Young,

The “Save Women’s Sports Act” remains a hotly contested issue in West Virginia, as the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), on Thursday, denied W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s request for an emergency motion which would allow the state to resume enforcement. 

The “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which was made law in 2021, prohibits transgender athletes from participation in female sports at the middle school, high school, and college level. However, a Federal Court of Appeals judge issued an injunction restricting the act’s enforcement as the result of a lawsuit. 

A statement from Morrisey’s office after the ruling said the Attorney General was “deeply disappointed in SCOTUS” for denying the state’s request to overturn the Federal Court’s ruling. SCOTUS denied Morrisey’s request by a vote of seven-to-two, with Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas both dissenting from the Court’s ruling. 

“This is a procedural setback, but we remain confident that when this case is ultimately determined on the merits, we will prevail,” Morrisey stated.

The lawsuit was first filed – and its ruling appealed – on behalf of a middle school student-athlete who was threatened with removal from the school’s track team. Originally defeated in the lower court, the ruling in the lawsuit was later appealed in Federal Court. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin ordered the injunction, which Morrisey, last month, requested be vacated. 

A memo released Thursday by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of West Virginia states: “West Virginia is one of 19 states that have banned transgender student athletes in just the last three years as part of an escalating wave of state-level restrictions on the rights of transgender people. Similar federal lawsuits are pending in Idaho and Tennessee.”

The case will now be heard before the Fourth Circuit District Court of Appeals. 

“We maintain our stance that this is a common sense law—we have a very strong case,” Morrisey noted in his statement. “It’s just basic fairness and common sense to not have biological males play in women’s sports.”

To read the Supreme Court’s opinion, follow the link: https://bit.ly/3nMxDdb.

RealWV will provide updates regarding the status of the “Save Women’s Sports Act” as additional information is made available.”

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