Lawsuit against Idaho’s transgender athletes ban can move forward, judges say

Darin Oswald/

A federal appeals court ruled that a Boise State University student’s lawsuit against Idaho’s transgender athlete ban can move forward.

Lindsay Hecox temporarily withdrew from Boise State amid her case challenging the constitutionality of Idaho’s ban on transgender women competing in female school sports. State attorneys argued the case was moot because Hecox was no longer a student.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sided with Hecox, and pointed out that she has re-enrolled at the school and is currently a member of the women’s club soccer team.

“Lindsay’s case is alive and well and continues to successfully block what we believe is a flagrantly unconstitutional and harmful law,” Aadika Singh, an ACLU attorney representing Hecox, said in a Wednesday news release. “This is a great victory at a time when transgender people are experiencing unprecedented attacks by Idaho lawmakers.”

Idaho’s U.S. District Court in 2020 blocked enforcement of the law after ruling Hecox’s lawsuit is likely to succeed. The case now returns to the District Court.

Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, sponsored the Idaho bill that barred transgender women from athletics in 2020. A version of the bill ultimately spread across dozens of other statehouses, the Idaho Capital Sun reported.