The Indiana court challenge to the transportation ban was dropped

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A lawsuit challenging an Indiana law that bans transgender students from participating in girls’ school sports was dropped Wednesday, just weeks before it was due to be heard in a federal appeals court.

A federal judge in Indianapolis ruled against the law in August, issuing an injunction allowing a 10-year-old transgender girl to rejoin the all-girls softball team at her school in the Indianapolis Public School District.

But the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which represented the girl, and the attorney general’s office filed court documents Wednesday to dismiss the lawsuit because the girl had recently enrolled in a charter school not operated by the district.

“The parties acknowledge that since this case is now contentious and must be dismissed, upon dismissal of this complaint, this court’s injunction will be vacated and void,” the court filing said.

There is an ongoing national debate about the rights of transgender athletes. More than a dozen states have passed laws banning or restricting their participation in the sport based on arguments that they have an unfair competitive advantage.

A federal judge ruled earlier this month that West Virginia can uphold its ban on transgender athletes from participating in female school sports. However, a federal appeals court in New York dismissed a challenge to Connecticut’s policy of allowing transgender girls to participate in girls’ sports.

The ACLU said it stands by their arguments that Indiana law violates federal Title IX protections against sex discrimination in educational programs or activities – noting that they will file future legal challenges on behalf of other transgender students could.

“We have moved to have our case dismissed on behalf of a trans athlete at IPS schools solely on individual circumstances relating to our client’s recent transfer,” the ACLU said in a statement.

US District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson ruled that the fifth-grade girl had “a high probability” of winning arguments that Indiana law violated the protections of Federal Title IX. The federal appeals court in Chicago was scheduled to hear arguments in the case on February 15.

Indiana’s Republican-dominated legislature passed the law last year, vetoed by GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb, as opponents argued it was a bigoted response to a problem that doesn’t exist.

The attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. In documents filed with the Court of Appeal, she had argued that upholding the judge’s ruling “would open girls’ sports to members of the male sex, with all the advantages that birth as a man brings, and would deprive women of equal opportunities to develop themselves.” to measure fairly and safely in sport”.