Curtis Tate Published

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Enforce State’s Trans Youth Sports Ban

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

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to enforce a state law that prohibits transgender youth from participating in school sports.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey last month petitioned the high court to allow the ban to stay in effect while a challenge worked its way through the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court declined to do that, without explaining why. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

West Virginia lawmakers passed the “Save Women’s Sports Act” in 2021. A transgender student in Harrison County challenged the law, with Lambda Legal, a national LGBTQ rights law firm, and the ACLU of West Virginia.

A U.S. District Judge in Charleston allowed the law to take effect in January, but the Fourth Circuit put it on hold once again.

The conservative Alliance Defending Freedom petitioned the Supreme Court with Morrisey, who this week announced a run for governor. 

In a statement Thursday, he said he was “deeply disappointed.”