US court rules banning transgender athletes from competing unconstitutional

A Montana judge has ruled that a number of laws passed by the state’s Republican-led legislature that affect university and college regulations are unconstitutional. This includes a law banning transgender women from participating in women’s sporting events.

The Montana state constitution grants the so-called Board of Regents [eine Art Verwaltungsrat, Anm. d. Red] control of public higher education, giving it more powers than state legislatures to make — or break — rules, a move recently upheld by the state Supreme Court.

The court’s decision comes at a time when the issue of transgender athletes in US sports is being hotly debated. One side insists that athletes should not be denied the right to compete because of their “gender identity,” while the other side argues that transgender athletes have a distinct competitive advantage over their peers.

It is the second ruling in days on transgender issues, after another judge ruled to temporarily overturn a state rule barring transgender people from changing the information on their birth certificates. At least 12 states governed by Republican legislatures currently ban transgender female athletes in college and high school from competing against or with women or girls.

Who is in charge of US universities?

It is also believed that much of the criticism of the Montana court’s decision has not necessarily to do with the substance of the ruling, but rather with the legislature’s apparent attempt to regulate college policy, when that responsibility actually falls to the Board of Regents should. Emilee Cantrell, a spokeswoman for Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, a Republican who had defended the law enforced by the state legislature, said:

“The courts have once again stripped Montana citizens of the power — exercised by their elected legislatures — to govern their taxpayer-funded colleges and empowered unelected college administrators.”

The issue of transgender athletes in sport has sparked much controversy, drawing several well-known critics including former British Olympian Sharron Davies and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
Much of the debate revolved around Lia Thomas, the US collegiate swimmer who is arguably the most notable example of a former male athlete now competing against women.

Thomas had broken a number of records at the University of Pennsylvania, and in March became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national title.

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Source: RT

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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