NY judge strikes down county executive's ban on trans athletes in women's sports

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman's order was deemed beyond the scope of his authority by New York Supreme Court Judge Francis Ricigliano.

NY judge strikes down county executive's ban on trans athletes in women's sports
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This week, a New York Supreme Court judge struck down a county's executive ban aimed at preventing biological males from participating in women's sports at Nassau County parks. 

Judge Francis Ricigliano struck down an executive order issued by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman that was aimed at protecting girls and women in gender-segregated sports.

The order, titled "An Executive Order for Fairness for Women and Girls in Sports," required sporting event applicants to designate the gender of team members and participants, with those competing in gendered divisions required to compete based on their biological sex, the Post Millennial reports.

Judge Ricigliano, in his 13-page decision, stated that Blakeman acted beyond the scope of his authority as the Chief Executive Officer of Nassau County by issuing the order without any corresponding legislative enactment. The judge emphasized that the chief executive of a local government cannot unlawfully infringe upon the powers reserved for the legislature.

The executive order was challenged by Roller Rebels, a women's roller derby league that welcomes "all transgender women, intersex women, and gender-expansive women to participate." The judge's decision did not delve into the arguments put forth by both sides regarding the participation of transgender athletes in women's divisions.

Ricigliano noted that while some legislatures have enacted laws pertaining to the protection and promotion of athletic opportunities for women and girls by prohibiting biological males from participating in girls' or women's sports, neither the Nassau County Legislature, New York State, nor Congress has done so.

The judge's ruling was based on the County Executive's lack of authority to issue such an order without corresponding action by the County Legislature, similar to a previous Court of Appeals decision that invalidated the executive order.

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  • By David Menzies

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