The judge presiding over a case involving three female high school track athletes who filed a lawsuit against the a Connecticut school association for allowing biological males to compete against girls has scolded and barred their lawyers from referring to trans athletes as “male.”
In February, students Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell filed a federal lawsuit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for allowing biologically male athletes to compete against them on the track. The students, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, alleged that the trans runners had an unfair biological advantage over their female counterparts and won events that would’ve otherwise gone to girls.
JUDGE: Don't call biologically male athletes “male”
The Daily Wire reported on Monday that lawyers in Soule et al v. Connecticut Association of Schools et al. are now calling on District Judge Robert Chatigny to recuse himself from the overseeing the case after he chastised them for referring to them by their sex.
“I don’t think we should be referring to the proposed intervenors as ‘male athletes.’ I understand that you prefer to use those words, but they’re very provocative, and I think needlessly so,” said Judge Chatigny, per the call transcript from April 16. “I don’t think that you surrender any legitimate interest or position if you refer to them as transgender females. That is what the case is about. This isn’t a case involving males who have decided that they want to run in girls’ events. This is a case about girls who say that transgender girls should not be allowed to run in girls’ events.”
He stated: “So going forward, we will not refer to the proposed intervenors as ‘males’; understood?”
Roger Brooks, the lead attorney representing Soule and the other girls, argues that the focus of the case revolves around the fact that transgender male athletes have a distinct physiological advantage over their female counterparts. “The entire focus of the case is the fact that the CIAC policy allows individuals who are physiologically, genetically male to compete in girls’ athletics,” he said.
Lawyers offer to call athletes by their individual names
He added that his team was “happy” to refer to the trans athletes by their names instead of referring to them as “female,” which they are not. He added that the case revolves around their biological sex, and not their names or gender identity.
Judge Chatigny disagreed, stating that the ADF lawyers must (incorrectly) refer to trans athletes as “transgender females.”
“What I’m saying is you must refer to them as ‘transgender females’ rather than as ‘males.'” he said. “Again, that’s the more accurate terminology, and I think that it fully protects your client’s legitimate interests. Referring to these individuals as ‘transgender females’ is consistent with science, common practice and perhaps human decency,” he said.
Biological sex pronouns “needlessly provocative”
The judge added that referring to males as, in fact, males, is “not accurate” and “needlessly provocative,” and insisted the lawyers take any disagreement to the Court of Appeals. However, he conceded that the lawyers could use the term “transgender athletes” without any reference to their sex.
The ADF attorneys have now filed a motion to call for Judge Chatigny’s recusal from the case, arguing that his order is “legally unprecedented.” “To be sure, the public debate over gender identity and sports is a heated and emotional one,” said Brooks, per the National Review. “This only increases the urgency that court preserve their role as the singular place in society where all can be heard and present facts before an impartial tribunal.”