Press Release

Cooley, ACLU Represent National Women’s Law Center in Intervening to Defend Transgender College Athletes

May 8, 2024

San Francisco – May 8, 2024 – Cooley, alongside the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Georgia, filed a motion on behalf of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) to intervene in a pending lawsuit against the NCAA that seeks to block transgender women and girls from playing college sports. NWLC has intervened to defend the ability of transgender women and girls to participate. The Cooley team included lawyers Kathleen Hartnett, Patrick Hayden, Valeria M. Pelet del Toro, Katelyn Kang, Elizabeth Reinhardt, Zoë Helstrom and Celene Chen, with support from paralegal Erin Combs.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, was brought by several former and current NCAA athletes who seek to represent a class of all women playing NCAA athletics –currently, in the past and in the future. The plaintiffs seek to categorically ban transgender women and girls from playing NCAA sports, to bar transgender women and girls from using women’s facilities, and to erase records of past participation by transgender women and girls in NCAA sports. The suit argues that the challenged policies violate Title IX and the 14th Amendment. NWLC has intervened because the plaintiffs do not speak for all women, and to ensure that the rights of transgender women and girls are adequately represented in the case.

If the request for intervention is approved by the court, NWLC will participate in support of transgender inclusion in all future proceedings.

Read the motion to intervene

The case is Riley Gaines, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al. in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (case number 1:24-cv-01109-MHC).

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