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Female athlete, Christian schools score 'W' at 6th Circuit

Appeals court blocks Biden admin, in 20 states, from mandating that males be allowed to participate in women’s sports
Amelia Ford holds a basketball on the court with a hoop in the background
Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom

CINCINNATI – In a victory for female athletes, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled Friday to uphold a lower court order that blocks, in 20 states, Biden administration guidance documents that illegitimately reinterpret federal law to allow, among other things, males to compete in women’s sports. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Arkansas female athlete Amelia Ford and the Association of Christian Schools International.

“The Biden administration’s radical push to redefine sex threatens the equal opportunities that women and girls have enjoyed for 50 years under Title IX,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman, who argued before the court on behalf of Ford and ACSI. “Once again, the administration has overstepped on Title IX and tried to usurp congressional authority. This is a significant victory for Amelia and the Christian schools we represent. Biology, not gender identity, matters in athletics.”

In the case, State of Tennessee v. United States Department of Education, Tennessee led 19 other states in challenging documents issued by the U.S. Department of Education that mandate expanding the word “sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” even though this contradicts the law. Among other things, these documents would require that schools subject to Title IX allow males who identify as female to participate on female athletic teams and use female-designated showers and locker rooms.

ACSI’s schools have approximately 500,000 students throughout the country. Their schools compete against public schools that receive federal financial assistance and are required to adhere to the new federal mandate. This places Christian schools and their female athletes at a disadvantage because the public schools they compete against in athletic events would be required by the Biden administration to permit males to compete on female sports teams.

The 6th Circuit’s ruling only deals with the administration’s Title IX guidance documents, and not its recently released final rule. ADF attorneys are currently litigating several cases challenging the final rule and have already secured a federal court’s preliminary injunction halting the administration’s illegal attempt to rewrite Title IX.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Matt Bowman
Matt Bowman
Senior Counsel, Director of Regulatory Practice
Matt Bowman serves as senior counsel and director of regulatory practice at Alliance Defending Freedom, where he focuses on the impact of administrative law on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and family.