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B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education

Description:  A legal challenge to West Virginia’s Save Women’s Sports Act that, if successful, would undermine women’s sports by allowing males who identify as female to compete with females in girls’ and women’s sports.

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Rachel Rouleau regarding an announcement Wednesday from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey that his office and Lainey Armistead, a former West Virginia collegiate athlete represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear B.P.J. v West Virginia State Board of Education, a case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled earlier this month, undermining West Virginia’s ability to protect fairness in women’s sports:

“Women and girls deserve to compete on a level playing field, but activists—along with the Biden administration—are seeking to erase differences between men and women by forcing women’s sports leagues to allow men to compete. This contradicts both biological reality and common sense. Title IX was designed to provide women with fair competition, and West Virginia’s women’s sports law does the same. Across the country, women and girls are unjustly losing medals, podium spots, public recognition, and the opportunity to compete when males take their places. It is common sense that men competing against women creates huge disadvantages and safety concerns, but the 4th Circuit failed to protect what is just for women and girls. We look forward to joining West Virginia in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect fairness and safety for female athletes.”

The following quote may be attributed to Lainey Armistead, the former West Virginia collegiate athlete who intervened in the case to protect her state’s women’s sports law:

“I believe that protecting fairness in women’s sports is a women’s rights issue. This isn’t just about fair play for me: It’s about protecting fairness and safety for female athletes across West Virginia and across the country. It’s about ensuring that future generations of female athletes are not discriminated against but have access to the same equal athletic opportunities that shaped my life. Being an athlete in college made me even more passionate about the sport that I play. I want fairness, equality, and safety in sports. I hope the Supreme Court will stand up for women and young girls who just want a level playing field.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Rachel Rouleau

Rachel Rouleau serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Rouleau joined the Conscience Team in 2020, where she focuses on protecting the conscience rights of individuals being unjustly forced to compromise their beliefs under threat of heavy fines and punishment. Prior to that, she was a First Year Lawyer Fellow in ADF’s new fellowship program. Rouleau earned her J.D. from William and Mary Law School in 2019. She obtained her B.A. in political science from the University of Florida in 2015. She is a member of the Massachusetts bar.

ABOUT Christiana Kiefer

Christiana Kiefer serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Since joining ADF in 2012, Kiefer has worked to protect women's and girls' sports and has defended the bodily privacy rights of students. She has also worked to protect the constitutionally protected freedom of churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries to exercise their faith without government interference. Kiefer earned her J.D. in 2010 from Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, where she graduated first in her class and served as a teaching assistant in criminal law. Also in 2010, Kiefer completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow. She is admitted to the state bar of California, the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.

ABOUT Jonathan Scruggs

Jonathan Scruggs serves as senior counsel and vice president of litigation strategy and the Center for Conscience Initiatives with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, he identifies new litigation opportunities and develops new strategies for protecting free speech and religious liberty in collaboration with the chief legal counsel and litigation team directors. As the leader for the Center for Conscience Initiatives, Scruggs oversees the litigation team defending the rights of professionals and business owners to live out their faith as well as the litigation efforts to protect equal opportunities for women in athletics. Since joining ADF in 2006, Scruggs has worked on and prevailed in a variety of cases that protect the right of people to freely express their faith in their business, at school, and in the public square. He earned his J.D. at Harvard Law School and is admitted to practice in the states of Arizona and Tennessee. Scruggs is also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple federal district and appellate courts.