Court hands legal victory to transgender athletes in Connecticut case

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that transgender athletes in Connecticut can now compete on the state’s women’s and girls’ sports teams.

Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, Inc. examined whether Connecticut’s school systems had violated Title IX by allowing transgender children to play on women’s soccer teams.

Joshua Block, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, stated in a statement that “Today’s decision is a crucial victory for fairness equality and inclusion.”

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a complaint on behalf of athletes Selina Soule and Chelsea Mitchell. It also represented Alanna Smith and Ashley Nicoletti.


Original suit was to prohibit Terry Miller and Andraya Yearswood, two transgender athletes, from participating in 2020’s spring outdoor track season.

“We conclude that the CIAC, and its member schools, did not have sufficient notice that the Policy violated Title IX — in fact they had notice to that effect — Plaintiffs’ claims must be dismissed,” a panel composed.

Chelsea Mitchell, one of ADF’s clients wrote an opinion piece in USA Today in which she argued her case for being “the fastest high school girl in the 55-meter dash in her state.”

“I have lost four women’s state championship titles and two all-New England awards. There are many other podium spots for male runners. In 2019, I finished third in the 55-meter run, behind two male runners. She wrote earlier this year that with every loss it becomes harder and more difficult to try again.

Mitchell said, “Males have huge physical advantages. Their bodies are just more powerful and larger than those of females. Every girl at the track can see it.

The win was celebrated by the ACLU.

“VICTORY!” was the ACLU of Connecticut’s tweet.

Elana Bildner (ACLU Foundation of Connecticut senior staff lawyer) stated in a statement that trans student athletes should be on our sports teams as well as in our schools. All trans youth should be respected and protected. Today, the courts dismissed the lawsuit that sought to attack trans student athletes. The court accepted the record that showed our clients complied with the rules.