BOISE—Three former Idaho attorneys general, represented by the law firm Nixon Peabody LLP, filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today in the lawsuit Hecox v. Little. Their brief explains why Idaho’s House Bill 500, which bars women and girls who are transgender from participating in school sports and subjects all women and girl athletes in Idaho to the threat of invasive testing, is unconstitutional.
Though the three former Idaho attorneys general—two Republicans and one Democrat—who filed the brief remain actively engaged in issues affecting Idahoans, this is the first time that the three, Jim Jones, Wayne Leroy Kidwell, and W. Anthony (Tony) Park, have filed an “amicus curiae” friend-of-the-court brief in any case.
With the brief, these former attorneys general urge the Ninth Circuit appeals court to uphold the Idaho federal district court’s injunction barring enforcement of House Bill 500. The brief explains why the bill is unconstitutional and that the Idaho legislature squanders scarce public resources by passing constitutionally dubious legislation like House Bill 500.
“Most upsetting, however, is the message that the Act has sent to Idaho’s transgender citizens and their families, friends, and allies,” the former attorneys general state in the brief. “In purporting to level the playing field, the Act has excluded an entire group of women from meaningful participation in sports.” The former attorneys general, referred to as “Amici Curiae” in the filing, “wish to assure those individuals that the Act represents neither the values of Idaho, as Amici Curiae have come to understand them throughout decades of public service, nor the views of all Idahoans.”
The brief filed today by former attorneys general is one of many friend-of-the court briefs filed today opposing House Bill 500. Other briefs include filings from the National Women’s Law Center and over 60 other women’s rights and civil rights groups, including the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, major national medical and mental health associations, and businesses including Nike, Amalgamated Bank, and Altria Group, among many others. More information about additional amicus curiae briefs filed against House Bill 500 is available in a separate news release.
The Hecox v. Little lawsuit was brought on behalf of Lindsay Hecox, a student at Boise State University who is transgender and had been planning to try out for the cross-country team, and Jane Doe, a senior at Boise High School who is cisgender and concerned about being subjected to the law’s invasive “sex verification” testing. In August, a federal judge blocked Idaho’s law targeting transgender student athletes allowing girls and women who are transgender or intersex to participate in school sports in Idaho.