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Doe v. Horne

Description:  In 2022, Arizona enacted the Save Women's Sports Act to ensure safety and fairness in women's sports. The law is being challenged by two biological males who wish to compete in female athletics in the state.

Women runners on a track
Monday, Sep 18, 2023

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding a friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Doe v. Horne that asks the court to uphold an Arizona law protecting safety and fairness in women’s sports:

“Many young women across the country are facing the demoralizing reality of losing to male athletes who have natural physical advantages—advantages that can’t be overcome by similar training. States like Arizona have an interest in protecting women and girls as men continue to take medals, podium spots, and other opportunities away from women in female sports. Women deserve to compete on a fair and level playing field. As more women continue to lose to men, lawmakers are acting to preserve equal opportunities, biological reality, and common sense. As we explain in our brief, the 9th Circuit has twice held that legislators can make laws designating sex-specific sports teams. We urge the court to vacate an injunction issued by a lower court and allow Arizona’s Save Women’s Sports Act to do its job and protect women and girls.”

In a separate case, ADF attorneys are asking the 9th Circuit to uphold Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.

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 John Bursch

John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.