Footballer involved in federal transgender case is arrested after graduating
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey appeared today alongside a former college football player who intervened in a case in federal court challenging state law enforcement regarding transgender athletes.
“She’s a recent graduate of West Virginia State University, and what a brave young woman — and I’m so humbled that she also arrived here today,” Morrisey said during public statements on the federal case and applications. of Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sex.
Right now, in federal court, attorneys are arguing over whether Lainey Armistead’s position in the case stands after graduating from West Virginia State this spring.
“Ms. Armistead is now a graduate of WVSU and is a rising law student in Florida with no real plans to play on a school women’s soccer team, let alone West Virginia,” attorneys wrote challenging her position in the lawsuit. ‘affair.
“Ms. Armistead’s WVSU graduation severs her already tenuous connection to this litigation.
Armistead was a junior student in Owensboro, Kentucky, when attorneys helped her file the motion to intervene in September 2021. She received legal support from attorney Brandon Steele, who is also chair of the committee. House government organization, as well as lawyers from the National Alliance for the Defense of Liberty.
West Virginia’s policy was challenged in court after the state joined dozens of states imposing restrictions on the participation of transgender athletes on sports teams.
West Virginia law states that “any student aggrieved by a violation of this section may bring an action” against a school board or county college “allegedly responsible for the alleged violation.”
A trial on the West Virginia law challenge is imminent and is scheduled to begin July 26 in the Charleston courtroom of U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin.
Armistead’s motion to intervene in 2021 said it had sought to defend West Virginia law that defines male and female “based solely on the reproductive biology and genetics of the individual at the time.” birth”. This definition does not take gender identity into account.
“This court deserves to hear from the parties most protected by sports law, most affected by attempts to gut its protections, and most motivated to aggressively defend the law,” Armistead’s lawyers wrote this that year.
The heart of the lawsuit centers on Harrison County middle schooler Becky Pepper-Jackson, whose attorneys argued the new law unfairly barred her from competing on her school’s women’s cross country team.
The college student is supported by attorneys from ACLU-West Virginia and Lambda Legal. In recently filed court documents, these lawyers argue that Armistead’s interests do not overlap with the college student’s eligibility.
Armistead’s and state’s attorneys countered that his perspective is important to be represented in the case.
“Since beginning his involvement, Lainey Armistead has made valuable and unique contributions to this case,” Curtis Capehart, a lawyer with the state attorney general’s office, wrote in a June 9 filing in an attempt to argue that ‘she should stay as a participant.
He described Armistead as a biological college football player who may have to face a born male opponent.
“Lainey Armistead is the only person in this matter who represents the perspective of a biological female athlete who agrees with the legislature that the statue is beneficial,” he wrote.
Armistead’s own lawyers also argue that his view remains valid, saying he still has three years of college eligibility left.
“Ms. Armistead’s unexpected early graduation from WVSU does not alter these facts,” Armistead’s attorneys wrote. Armistead intends to continue playing soccer to some degree while in law school, and she has nearly a lifetime of soccer experience — including three years as a varsity athlete at WVSU — on which lean.
Armistead appeared today with the Attorney General for public statements on Title IX and the lawsuit regarding the participation of transgender athletes.
“No young woman should be forced to compete against a man in her sport. It’s unfair and dangerous,” Armistead said today. “No biological man should be allowed to deny women opportunities. Ignoring the biological differences between men and women is a huge loss for women, especially when we fought so hard for our right to compete in the first place.
To applause, she concluded, “I’m here with a simple message for the women and girls of West Virginia: I’m here for you.”
Morrisey said his office is confident in its position heading into the West Virginia lawsuit.
“We must vigorously defend the positive changes and opportunities that have been created over the past half century. This means that sport must be fair and safe for athletes of both sexes. It means keeping the genders separate,” Morrisey said, citing the high-profile case of Lia Thomas, who competed on Penn’s men’s team from 2017 to 2020 and then the women’s team last year.
He suggested that whatever the outcome at the federal circuit level, he anticipates further review by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and potentially by the United States Supreme Court.
“It’s something we’re preparing for and preparing for an unparalleled record,” Morrisey said.