Trump rebuff: Administration-backed Idaho law banning transgender athletes from participating in school sports that match their gender identity on hold

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Credit: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Idaho’s “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” [that bars transgender women from participating in school sports] will now be on pause while the judge continues to decide whether the law violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment, as well as the unlawful searches and seizures clause of the Fourth Amendment.

Idaho Chief Judge David C. Nye, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, said those suing Idaho over the law “are likely to succeed in establishing the Act is unconstitutional as currently written.” Nye also knocked the Trump administration’s own position on transgender athletes.

The Idaho law is the only prohibition in the country against transgender student athletes participating in sports that match their gender identity. The Trump administration has filed a brief in the case supporting the law, which went into effect July 1.

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Nye acknowledged that Idaho’s ban is “in stark contrast to the policies of elite athletic bodies that regulate sports both nationally and globally,” which allow transgender women to participate in sports if they meet certain requirements. The law “burdens all female athletes with the risk and embarrassment of having to ‘verify’ their ‘biological sex’ in order to play women’s sports,” he said.

“The Court recognizes that this decision is likely to be controversial,” the judge said [August 17], but also added that the “Constitution must always prevail.”

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