Emily Rice Published

Morrisey Takes Trans Sports Ban To The Supreme Court

A man poses in a library of legal books, with United States flag and West Virginia flag in background.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is shown Thursday, March 3, 2016.
AP Photo/John Raby

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his office is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the “Save Women’s Sports Act” to take effect.

In 2021, the West Virginia Legislature enacted a law “to defend the integrity of women’s sports” that prohibits transgender girls and women in the state from competing on sports teams at “any public secondary school or state institution of higher education.”

The bill passed on April 28, 2021 and the ACLU filed a lawsuit on May 8, 2021. Since then Morrisey’s office has fought to dismiss the lawsuit.

“Today, we are stepping forward with a major announcement pertaining to a filing that we’ll be making later this afternoon to defend the integrity of women’s sports here in West Virginia,” Morrisey said. “We will be making a filing up at the United States Supreme Court in order to lift the injunction that was recently placed upon the Integrity In Women’s Sports Law in the Fourth Circuit.”

Morrisey was assisted by attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a self-proclaimed Christian-led legal organization, in filing this litigation.

Rachel Csutoros, legal counsel with the ADF called the filing a historical moment for all female athletes.

“It’s unfair, and it’s unsafe,” Csutoros said. “No males should be allowed to take athletic opportunities away from women. That’s why we’re giving the Supreme Court their first chance to protect women’s fairness and women’s sports from today’s threats. The Fourth Circuit was wrong to stop a valid law with no factual or legal basis. And we urge the Supreme Court to uphold West Virginia’s laws to respect the will of its state citizens and to preserve equal athletic opportunities for women and girls.”

Morrisey said the law protects female athletes’ safety and keeps female sports competitive for female athletes, consistent with Title IX and the Constitution. 

Title IX was signed into law on June 23, 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government.

“We talked about the 50th anniversary of Title Nine,” Morrisey said. “I think we should remember that today. It’s been so much good for women’s leadership and women’s sports. And I am optimistic of the result that we should be able to get from the high court.”