By Daniel Stefanski |
Arizona Republicans continue to take proactive steps to protect women’s sports.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne recently filed a legal response in the case of Jane Doe, et al. v Thomas C. Horne, et al., asking the federal court to grant his side “an additional 90 days to compile evidence as Plaintiffs did at leisure, and then deny the Motion for Preliminary Injunction.” Horne is seeking to defend an Arizona law that prohibits biological males from competing in women’s and girls’ athletic events at state public schools, colleges, and universities. That law was SB 1165, which was signed by former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on March 30, 2022.
Horne’s action comes weeks after Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma filed a Motion to Intervene in the proceedings. According to the Senate Republican’s press release, “On April 17, 2023, plaintiffs represented by a radical organization filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being enforced in Arizona,” and “Attorney General Kris Mayes is not defending the constitutionality of the law.”
The transfer of power from Republican Mark Brnovich to Democrat Kris Mayes in the Attorney General’s Office has forced the Republican-led Arizona Legislature into the lead role when it comes to litigation of federal and state lawsuits. Both Petersen and Toma figure to take many more legal actions over the next year and a half with Democrats occupying the Governor’s and Attorney General’s Office in the Grand Canyon State.
In his most-recent filing to the court, Horne states, “The disruption and the unfairness caused to others by Plaintiffs insisting on unfairly competing against biological girls is undeniable. If the preliminary injunction were to be granted, a number of schools would permit biological males/transgender females to compete against girls. This would be devastating to girls who hope to excel but cannot because they are competing against biological boys and being deprived of scholarships. “
The Republican Superintendent, in his second stint as the state’s top educator, issued the following statement when announcing his filing: “I have sympathy for anybody who feels trapped in the wrong body, but I don’t believe that biological boys should be playing against girls. If there really are no differences between males and females then all sports would already be co-ed.”
Last Wednesday, Horne had joined Marshi Smith, a former University of Arizona swimming star, at a press conference to announce the court filing and to highlight a letter sent to the NCAA from Marsh and dozens of other female athletes in March 2022.
That letter, also co-signed by Riley Gaines, expresses the ladies’ “anguish” as they watched the 2022 NCAA Swim & Dive Championships earlier in the month. They write that they “feel we are witnessing irrevocable damage to a sport that has transformed our own identities for the better,” charging that “the NCAA has successfully failed everyone by allowing Lia Thomas to compete directly with women.” The female athletes state that they “are eager and willing to discuss directly with the NCAA potential steps it can implement to create new solutions for the expanding athletic family.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.