Curtis Tate Published

Appeals Court Again Allows Transgender Student To Participate In Sports

BPJ, the Harrison County student, with medium length blonde hair, and her mother, mask on her chin.
BPJ, the Harrison County student who challenged HB 3293, and her mother.

A transgender student in Harrison County can continue to participate on her school’s track team, a federal court has ruled.

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, has denied a bid by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to allow the state to enforce a ban on transgender student participation in school sports.

Lawmakers passed, and Gov. Jim Justice signed, HB 3293 in 2021. The student, Becky Pepper Jackson, challenged the law, represented by the ACLU of West Virginia and Lambda Legal.

A U.S. district judge in Charleston upheld the law in January. Pepper Jackson appealed to the Fourth Circuit, which allowed her to continue her participation on the track team.

On Friday, the Fourth Circuit rejected Morrisey’s assertion that Pepper Jackson’s improvement in discus and shotput was unfair to her teammates and she should be ineligible to participate.

Judge Steven Agee, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, dissented.