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Riley Gaines Says She Expects “Monumental” SCOTUS Judgement Soon On Transgender In Women’s Sports

The Supreme Court finds itself embroiled in a heated dispute over transgender inclusion in women’s sports, with former NCAA athlete Riley Gaines expressing optimism regarding a potential ruling against transgender women competing in female categories.

A Landmark Case Looms

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Former NCAA athlete Riley Gaines voices hope for a significant Supreme Court ruling on transgender participation in women’s sports, highlighting the importance of a moral decision under Title IX.

A Moral Issue

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Speaking to Newsweek, Gaines explained that she hopes the Supreme Court judges will do “not just the right thing and the fair thing but the moral thing” and argued this means prohibiting transgender participation in women’s university sports.

Title IX and Transgender Inclusion

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Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in educational programs receiving federal funds, provides the legal backdrop for the ongoing debate on transgender inclusion in women’s sports.

Supreme Court’s Previous Actions

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Recent decisions by the Supreme Court, including refusals to hear Title IX cases related to transgender issues, have left some advocates like Gaines disappointed and questioning the Court’s stance.

Both in 2021 and 2023, the court refused to take up hearings of cases that were Title 9 suits related to this issue.

Disappointment

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The decision not to take up the cases left Gaines “kind of stung.”

She wondered, “what is the Supreme Court doing?”

However, she was told that it wasn’t a rejection of the case, it simply meant that “they didn’t have the capacity to take it up at the time.”

Hopes for Legal Redress

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Despite past setbacks, Gaines remains hopeful about the possibility of Title IX cases reaching the Supreme Court, particularly citing ongoing lawsuits challenging transgender inclusion in women’s sports.

Connecticut Case

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Gaines is particularly hopeful about a Connecticut case, where she says: “I’m very hopeful this case in particular will be heard by the Supreme Court, which will be the first ruling we have on a Title 9 case—which is huge right now considering what the Biden administration is doing to Title 9, which is a totally illegal administrative rewrite. I think to get it into the Supreme Court would be monumental, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Debate Over Transgender Rights

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The debate over transgender inclusion in women’s sports extends beyond legal matters, reflecting broader societal divisions and considerations of fairness and equity.

Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, suggests that conservative justices may seize the opportunity to address the issue, reflecting broader societal divisions.

Conservative Judges Might Be Able to Get it Done

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He adds, “Four justices generally have to agree to review a lower court decision, so even if a more moderate justice like Chief Justice [John] Roberts wants to avoid the politicization of the Court, the other conservative justices can bypass him and finally set a nationwide standard on the rights of transgender students in bathrooms, sports, and elsewhere.”

Safety Concerns and Discrimination

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But Caius Willingham of the National Center for Transgender Equality cautions against laws that deny transgender students access to facilities that promote gender equality, citing risks of discrimination and safety issues.

Trans Students at Higher Risk

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He said: “Student safety is a priority for every parent, teacher, and child, and transgender students have the same needs as any other student.

However, banning children from using the restroom aligning with their gender puts all students at risk. Transgender youth are at increased risk of assault and other forms of harm when forced to use facilities with members of a different gender than the one that they live as every day.

Undemocratic

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He continued, “Preventing transgender students from using the bathrooms or changing rooms corresponding to the gender they live as every day runs counter to the fundamental democratic values that our society is founded upon.”

Personal Toll of Advocacy

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Gaines recounts facing harassment and violence for her stance against transgender participation in women’s sports, highlighting the personal risks and challenges involved in advocating for her beliefs.

She described how, since becoming politically active, she had been the target of physical attacks, abuse, and stalking, and that she had feared for her life after speaking out against transgender participation in women’s sports.

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