EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Utah seeking to throw out lawsuit challenging the transgender athlete ban

Jul 14, 2022, 5:50 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2022, 11:59 am
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The 2023 Utah Legislative Session begins next week. KSL at Night previewed the session with Dr. Holly Richardson of Utah Policy Daily. (KSL NewsRadio file)
(KSL NewsRadio file)

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawyers for the state of Utah have asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit against the transgender athlete ban.

In short, the state argues that neither of the individuals in the lawsuit have actually been harmed by the law. The suit was filed on behalf of two girls using pseudonyms Jenny Roe and Jane Noe.

Transgender ban lawsuit dismissal? 

Plaintiff Jenny Roe will be a senior in high school this fall and intends to join and compete on the volleyball team,” the state’s lawyers argue in the lawsuit. “But Jenny is not academically eligible to play volleyball on any Utah high school team in August 2022 because Jenny failed more than one subject this past school year.”

The state also argues the other girl, Jane, may or may not make her team.

“Similarly, Plaintiff Jane Noe she does not intend to try out for her high school swim team until August 2023. With over 13 months until tryouts, there are many unknowns including eligibility, athletic abilities, and even whether Jane will continue to want to join and compete on the swim team.”

The state also points to the girls’ lawyers not sharing mental health records to prove their harm. That shows, they say, that the “claims are limited to the purported psychological damage that transgender girls in general might suffer due to H.B. 11.”

Constitutional rights violated?

Lawyers for Jenny and Jane have argued that their constitutional rights have been violated. The lawyers say they have been “explicitly denied” the rights enjoyed by other students.

They will respond with arguments why they believe the girls are harmed in the coming weeks.

Attorneys for the girls are seeking an injunction of H.B. 11, meaning the law would be put on hold until the case is settled. Lawyers for the state have filed arguments against that, too.

That won’t move forward until Judge Keith Kelly decides whether the girls even have a case.

A pre-trial date has been set for Aug. 4, with an all-day, 8-hour hearing scheduled for Aug 11.

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Utah seeking to throw out lawsuit challenging the transgender athlete ban