Curtis Tate Published

Morrisey Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Transgender Athlete Ban

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey stands at a podium, before a bookshelf, American flag and West Virginia flag.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hosts a press briefing on a lawsuit he filed against the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
WV Attorney General's Office

West Virginia’s attorney general will again ask the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state’s ban on transgender student athletes.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Wednesday he’d ask the justices to consider BPJ vs. West Virginia State Board of Education.

The Supreme Court last year declined to take the case when Morrisey asked. That was before the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled that the law, House Bill 3293, violated Title IX protections for gender equality in school sports.

There is no guarantee the justices will be any more inclined to hear the case now.

“We will be filing, over the next month, and we’re going to make sure we time our filing to maximize the chance this case is going to be heard, and most importantly, that we will win,” he said.

Morrisey, who’s running for governor in the Republican primary, appeared with former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines, who’s become a national figure in the opposition to transgender women and girls participating in school sports.

The campaigns of Morrisey and another Republican candidate, Chris Miller, have been airing competing advertisements declaring each candidate has the stronger position against transgender student athletes.  

Another Republican rival, Secretary of State Mac Warner, said Wednesday that Morrisey should step away from the case because he lost the appeal to the Fourth Circuit.

“He should voluntarily step aside and allow competent legal counsel to defend the West Virginia law that was overwhelmingly passed by the WV Legislature and signed by Governor Justice,” Warner said.

Meanwhile, the 13-year-old student in Harrison County, Becky Pepper Jackson, continues to participate on her school’s track team.

Jack Jarvis, communications director for Fairness West Virginia, said Morrisey’s statements about transgender youth contribute to a hostile environment with increased harassment, bullying and discrimination.

“Transgender women are women, period,” Jarvis said. “If you want to support women, you need to support all women. Becky and all of the other trans youth across our state deserve to fully participate in school activities and athletic events.”