Becky Pepper Jackson, a 12-year-old transgender student, will be able to compete for her school’s women’s running team. That was decided today by the US Supreme Court, which rejected West Virginia’s request to overturn an earlier appeals court decision and ban the 12-year-old, born as a junior, from competing with other girls. a to rule Somewhat unexpected, considering that the majority of Supreme Court justices — six out of nine — are conservatives. The officials’ decision was not accompanied by any explanation. The court’s final ruling was opposed by Justices Samuel Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas, who issued a dissenting opinion arguing that states have the right to enact laws that “limit participation in women’s or women’s sports based on genetic, physiological, or anatomical traits.”
The Becky Pepper Jackson case began in 2021, when the state of West Virginia passed a law banning boys from competing with girls in school sports. The law contains an explicit reference to the concept of “biological sex”, defined on the basis of “the reproductive and genetic biology of the individual at birth”. Shortly after it went into effect, attorneys for the Pepper-Jackson family filed a lawsuit against the state, saying the law discriminated against transgender people. Among these is little Becky, who in those years began taking medications to prevent puberty. That same year, Charleston Federal District Judge Joseph R. But after some time, the judge must realize that state law does not contradict the Constitution and reverse his decision. The legal battle is still in its infancy. After Becky is banned from competing with her friends from school, her lawyers appeal to the Court of Appeal, which agrees with the student and allows her to compete again. At that point, West Virginia is asking the Supreme Court to intervene. The ruling, which arrived today, turns its back on the state’s attorney and allows – perhaps once and for all – Becky to continue working with the other girls at her institute.
The White House Education Department announced a proposed amendment to Title IX, which already prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs for federally funded schools. The proposal would make it illegal for schools to prevent transgender students from participating in sports teams that they consider compatible with their gender identity. In the past three years alone, at least 19 states have passed laws banning trans students from participating in teams that do not correspond to the sex at birth. If the White House’s proposed amendment passes, those laws will be repealed.
Image credits: EPA/SHAWN THEW
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