Four high school track runners — Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti — filed a lawsuit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference over its “transgender” policy allowing biological males to compete against them at track meets. Soule said she’d trained since she was seven years old, only to lose races and opportunities to two males who outran her and the other girls. Mitchell would have won the 2019 state championship in the 55-meter indoor track competition, but the two boys won first and second place.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights under President Donald Trump said the policy violated Title IX and threatened to withhold funds unless the state rescinded the rule.
But with Joe Biden winning the election, federal support for these women is gone. Now a federal judge has dismissed their lawsuit on procedural grounds. There is no dispute, the court contended, because the two male athletes have graduated, and the plaintiffs couldn’t identify other “transgender” athletes on the team.
Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the plaintiffs, announced that they will appeal the court’s decision.
“It’s discouraging that the court ruled to dismiss my right to compete on a level playing field,” runner Chelsea Mitchell, one of the athletes ADF represents, said. “Today’s ruling ignores the physical advantages that male athletes have over female athletes. Female athletes like me should have the opportunity to excel and compete fairly. No girl should have to settle into her starting blocks knowing that, no matter how hard she works, she doesn’t have a fair shot at victory.”
“Today’s decision is disheartening for athletes like me who train hard every day to be our physical and mental best at the starting block,” said a third athlete, Alanna Smith. “Biological unfairness does not go away because of what someone believes about gender identity. Biology—not identity—is what matters on the field, and that’s why I will continue to stand up to restore fairness to my sport.”
In a video for PragerU, Soule said that the two males who took the top medals in high school girls’ races in Connecticut would not have qualified to compete on the boys team in the state championships. But these boys won the top medals running against girls two years in a row and ended up winning 15 state championship titles.