Alliance Defending Freedom wraps up oral arguments in case on Biden’s Title IX overreach

Public school athlete Amelia Ford. (Courtesy ADF)

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) completed oral arguments in front of…

Public school athlete Amelia Ford. (Courtesy ADF)

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) completed oral arguments in front of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, challenging the Biden administration’s redefinition of Title IX to include gender identity. 

In September, the ADF helped a female athlete, Amelia Ford, win a victory in a federal court challenging the Biden administration’s novel interpretation of Title IX.

The court ruled that Ford could join in the lawsuit styled The State of Tennessee v. United States Department of Education, challenging a guidance document issued by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that reinterprets Title IX.

“Our goal here is to protect a proper understanding of Title IX in federal law,” ADF attorney Matt Sharp told The Lion in an interview.  “We’ve seen how the Biden administration both through executive orders and policy documents now even with a new proposed regulation is undermining the long-standing understanding of what it means to be male and female.”

During oral arguments in the case, ADF said that the Biden administration has no authority to rewrite federal law to reinterpret Title IX and to do so in a way that undermines fairness for young women, religious freedom and ultimately erases many of the important distinctions between males and females, according to Sharp.

Sharp said ADF attorneys are optimistic that the appeals court will uphold the ruling of the lower court and recognize that the Biden administration can’t rewrite federal law, especially without the cooperation of Congress. 

The original lawsuit was filed on behalf of 20 Republican state attorneys general in August 2021.

Sharp said that in several other federal cases, Title IX has been interpreted as protecting biological women, using the word “sex” for biological gender, not gender identity, as the Biden administration now claims.

“There’s several federal court cases that have recognized that Title IX meant biological sex,” Sharp told The Lion. “Justice Stevens, years ago, made a comment along those lines in one of the rulings saying that if we opened up women’s sports to males, it would virtually eliminate opportunities for female athletes to compete on a fair and level playing field.”

The issue has taken on added importance, as 21 state legislatures have steadily passed laws preventing biological males from competing against biological females at the K-12 level. 

Earlier this month the Kansas legislature overrode a veto from the governor, enacting a law to ban transgender participation in women’s sports.

Sharp expects that the court will issue its ruling in The State of Tennessee v. United States Department of Education in the latter half of 2023.

“Hopefully we’ll get a good outcome here to reaffirm the lower court’s ruling that the Biden administration doesn’t have the authority to rewrite federal law,” concluded Sharp.