Judge in case against transgender runners won’t allow attorneys to call the biological men ‘males’

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The federal judge presiding over the challenge to the state of Connecticut’s rule allowing biological males who identify as female to compete against females in high school sports has imposed what amounts to a gag order against using the term “males” in the pending litigation

Attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nonprofit which is representing three female track stars, have filed a motion for the judge to recuse himself, i.e., step down from the case, because he appears insufficiently impartial.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny, a Bill Clinton appointee who Obama tried unsuccessfully to elevate to the federal appellate court, said in an April 16 conference call with the attorneys that they had to abide by his politically-correct terminology for the student-athletes at the heart of the case, according to a transcript obtained by the National Review.

“What I’m saying is you must refer to them as ‘transgender females” rather than as ‘males.’ Referring to these individuals as ‘transgender females’ is consistent with science, common practice and perhaps human decency. To refer to them as ‘males,’ period, is not accurate, certainly not as accurate, and I think it’s needlessly provocative.”

Parenthetically, when liberals refer to science, skepticism may be reasonably understandable.

Lead ADF attorney Roger Brooks responded on the call that he disagreed with the judge’s premise and that this ruling could hamper his ability to represent his clients effectively “If refer to these individuals as ‘female,’ because that’s simply, when we’re talking about physiology, that’s not accurate.”

He went on to say that “The point of this case is physiology of bodies driven by chromosomes and the documented athletic advantage that comes from a male body, male hormones, and male puberty in particular.”

Judge Chatigny insisted that he wasn’t trying to bully the lawyers, but he didn’t want them to be bullying anybody else. He also implied that they might have to consider challenging his prohibition at the U.S. Court for Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

The court is hearing the case by telephone owing to limitations imposed by the coronavirus lockdown.

Watch the female athletes in the case speak out about the unfairness of the Connecticut policy:

In the motion filed Saturday, instead of an interim appeal, the ADF wants the judge kicked off the case entirely.

“A disinterested observer would reasonably believe that the Court’s order and comments have destroyed the appearance of impartiality in this proceeding. That requires recusal. To be sure, the public debate over gender identity and sports is a heated and emotional one. 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.”

On behalf of its three clients and their families, the ADF is suing the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) on grounds that the current gender identity policy applicable to transgender students violates the Title IX federal civil rights law. This is a statute originally meant to prohibit sex-based discrimination and which resulted in substantially expanded female participation in athletics under the gender equality banner.

In general, it is unusual for a judge to be disqualified, either on a voluntary or involuntary basis, from a case, so it remains to be seen how this motion will play out as a practical matter.

As it happens, Judge Chatigny is on senior status, which means that he is semi-retired from the federal judiciary and no longer handles a full docket of cases.

The National Review added that “The case centers on the participation of two transgender sprinters…who have combined to win 15 girls indoor and outdoor championship events since 2017. The year prior to [their] participation, those titles were held by ten different girls. The three plaintiffs have competed directly against [them] and have lost to them in nearly every case.”

 

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