Arizona’s “Save Women’s Sports Act” prohibits biological males from playing on girls’ sports teams at public schools. On April 17, 2023, two biological male students seeking to overturn the law sued Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, the two students’ local schools, and the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Arizona Senate President Warren Peterson and Speaker of the Arizona House Ben Toma filed a motion to intervene in the case to defend the Act. The court later granted their motion.
One plaintiff in the case is a prepubescent eleven-year-old, and the other is a fifteen-year-old taking puberty blockers and female hormones. The lawsuit argues that because these two plaintiffs have not gone through puberty, they would not have any athletic advantage from being biological males. On July 20, 2023, the district court issued a preliminary injunction ordering that the two plaintiffs in the case–both biological males–should be allowed to play on their schools’ girls’ sports teams.
To ensure that the voices of the female student-athletes protected by the Save Women’s Sports Act can be heard, America First Legal filed on June 30, 2023, a motion to intervene in the district court on behalf of its clients, Arizona Women of Action, a women’s organization that advocates for concerned parents, and Anna Van Hoek, Lisa Fink, and Amber Zenczak, mothers whose daughters play sports on girls’ teams in school.
When Superintendent Horne and the Arizona legislative leaders filed an appeal in the Ninth Circuit of the district court’s preliminary injunction, America First Legal filed, on behalf of its clients, an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit. The brief explains the real world consequences that girls in Arizona have suffered, and will suffer, when males compete against them. The brief also argues that the district court erred when it ruled that it did not have to show any deference to the Arizona legislature’s fact-finding determinations about the extent of the problem of biological males in girls’ sports.
The district court has yet to rule on the motion to intervene. The appeal of the preliminary injunction is currently pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, the case continues to be adjudicated on the merits at the district court.