Female athletes return to appeals court that shrugged off Title IX

Female athletes return to appeals court that shrugged off Title IX

Female athletes return to appeals court that shrugged off Title IX

Four female athletes and their attorneys are going before a federal appeals court today in an effort to appeal a prior ruling that failed to uphold their legal right to female-only sports under the federal government’s own Title IX laws.

The full court at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments today after a three-judge panel ruled late last year the four female plaintiffs suffered no legal injuries from a Connecticut athletic association that permitted males to compete against them.

The case is Soule v Connecticut Association of Schools.

The four athletes and plaintiffs are Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti. They are represented by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. 

Back in 2017, Soule (pictured at right) was Connecticut’s first high school female athlete to complain publicly when two male athletes were permitted to compete alongside female runners in track competitions. Not only did those males leave female runners behind, they dominated Connecticut’s high school track meets and went on to set 17 track meet records and took 15 track titles from female athletes.  

Last December, the three-judge panel unanimously ruled it was “unpersuaded” the female athletes had “established the injury in fact and the redressability for standing." The case was dismissed on the grounds the plaintiffs had already graduated from high school, The Christian Post, citing the ruling written by Judge Denny Chin, reported at the time.

Led by Judge Chin, the panel also rejected the claim the athletic policy violated Title IX federal law, the anti-discrimination law that was passed in the 1970s to protect females in high school and college sports. Despite the history of that law, Judge Chin claimed some federal courts have held it violates Title IX to treat “transgender students consistent with their sex assigned at birth.”

The phrase “sex assigned at birth” is a politicized talking point used by transgender activists.

In a Fox News interview, Mitchell called it “clearly unfair” that biological males are allowed to compete in a female-only category.

“And that's why our institutions need to step up,” she said, “and put policies in place that protect the female category.”

ADF attorney Christiana Kiefer tells AFN the “vast majority” of the public agrees it is unfair to allow male athletes to compete alongside female athletes because they identify as girls.