A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Sunday brought by a group of female athletes over Connecticut’s policy allowing male-to-female transgender students to compete in girls’ sports.
Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Selina Soule filed suit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) in February 2020 for allowing two biological males, transgender students Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, to compete against girls in track and field. Ashley Nicoletti, another female high school athlete, later joined the suit. The plaintiffs argued that the transgender students had unfair physical advantages over their female competitors and should not be allowed to participate in high school girls’ sports.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny dismissed the lawsuit, ruling it moot now that the transgender students had graduated from high school. Chatigny wrote:
I conclude that the request to enjoin enforcement of the CIAC policy has become moot due to the graduation of Yearwood and Miller, whose participation in girls’ track provided the impetus for this action. There is no indication that Smith and Nicoletti will encounter competition by a transgender student in a CIAC-sponsored event next season. Defendants’ counsel have represented that they know of no transgender student who will be participating in girls’ track at that time.6It is still theoretically possible that a transgender student could attempt to do so. Even then, however, a legally cognizable injury to these plaintiffs would depend on a transgender student running in the same events and achieving substantially similar times. Such “speculative contingencies” are insufficient to satisfy the case or controversy requirement of Article III.
Yearwood and Miller dominated Connecticut girls’ track while they were in high school. As The Daily Wire reported, Yearwood and Miller “have taken 15 women’s state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut girls) and have taken more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.” Their 2020 season was cut short by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Trump administration had taken interest in the case and sided with the plaintiffs against the CIAC for allowing biological males to compete in female sports. The Biden administration later rescinded that support. Smith appeared on Fox News last February and blasted President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from the suit.
“I got involved after I ran against the biological males at the New England meet because in the 200 meter I took third place when I should have gotten runner-up,” Smith said. “And it’s not really about placement but it’s all about knowing that I work so many hours a week to be able to get runner-up in New England’s [championships] as a freshman. And I am really disappointed in the news, because me and the other girls, Selina and Chelsea, have worked really hard to get our stories out there, to get people to realize that fairness needs to be restored in our sport and all other women’s sports.”
“People should realize that a lot of biological females have missed out on making it to meets that really matter, like states and regionals, and the transgender athletes have taken spots on the podium that belong to biological females,” Smith added. “We train for so many days a week, so many hours to be able to be the best in our state and the best in our region, and these biological males are just taking it away from us and we really deserve it.”
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