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Case Name Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, Inc. ED-CT-0007
Docket / Court 3:20-cv-00201-RNC ( D. Conn. )
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
The four plaintiffs in this case are high school track athletes who alleged that having to compete against transgender female peers (consistently referred to as "biological males" in their briefs) has caused the plaintiffs to lose out on significant opportunities to win competitions and further ... read more >
The four plaintiffs in this case are high school track athletes who alleged that having to compete against transgender female peers (consistently referred to as "biological males" in their briefs) has caused the plaintiffs to lose out on significant opportunities to win competitions and further advance in their track careers. They filed suit on February 12, 2020 in the District Court for the District of Connecticut against their school districts and the Connecticut Interschool Athletic Conference, represented by the nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom. They alleged violations of Title IX and sought declaratory and injunctive relief, along with a preliminary injunction to prevent transgender female athletes from competing against other female athletes for the spring 2020 track season.

Background
Specifically, the student-athlete plaintiffs alleged that by allowing transgender female athletes to compete in girls' sporting events, the defendant school districts violate rights of other girls competing in high school sports under Title IX in two ways. First, the plaintiffs complain, they fail to provide effective accommodation for the interests and abilities of girls, by failing to provide an appropriate competitive environment for girls. Second, they fail to provide equal treatment, benefits, and opportunities for girls as compared to boys' sports.

Procedural history
This case was filed just as the novel coronavirus pandemic was beginning to affect the operations of public schools across the country. On April 8, 2020, plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction was denied by Judge Robert N. Chatigny, who stated that it was highly unlikely that the spring track season would occur and that therefore plaintiffs had no need of preliminary relief. A more detailed scheduling order was filed, with settlement conferences and trial both scheduled for 2021.

Several additional parties have taken an interest in this case. On February 21, 2020, two transgender female students who were repeatedly named in the complaint filed a motion to intervene, which was granted by the court on April 22, 2020. They are represented by the ACLU and the ACLU of Connecticut. On March 24, 2020, the United States filed a statement of interest through the Department of Justice indicating support for the plaintiffs' position. On April 20, 2020, the school district defendants filed a motion to join the Department of Education (DOE) as a party to the case. They noted that the plaintiffs in this case had also filed a DOE Office of Civil Rights (OCR) complaint, and they were worried about getting two different outcomes if DOE was involved in the OCR complaint, but not in this lawsuit. They also expressed confusion that the United States had indicated an interest in this case through its March 24 filing, but that the DOE, which is responsible for interpreting and enforcing Title IX, was not involved. The DOE submitted a memorandum in opposition to joinder on May 11, 2020.

Current status
On April 16, 2020, during a telephone hearing, Judge Chatigny instructed plaintiffs' counsel to refer to the intervenors as "transgender females" rather than as "males." On May 8, 2020, plaintiffs filed a motion to disqualify, alleging that this order indicates a lack of impartiality and rejects the core arguments of plaintiffs' lawsuit. The judge denied the motion on June 16, 2020. The case is ongoing.

Hetali Lodaya - 06/01/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
Sex discrimination
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. ยงยง 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Bloomfield Public Schools
Canton Public Schools
Cromwell Public Schools
CT school athletic association
Danbury Public Schools
Glastonbury Public Schools
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are four high school track athletes in CT who allege that their schools and the CT high school athletic association have discriminated against them under Title IX through their policies allowing transgender female athletes (who they refer to as "biological males") to compete in women's sports. Two specific transgender female high school athletes, who are referenced by name in plaintiff's complaint, filed a successful motion to intervene and are represented by the ACLU.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 02/12/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools
Alliance Defending Freedom
Date: May 28, 2020
By: Alliance Defending Freedom
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Soule et al v. CT Association of Schools et al
American Civil Liberties Union
Date: Mar. 4, 2020
By: American Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:20-cv-00201-RNC (D. Conn.)
ED-CT-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Damages [ECF# 1]
ED-CT-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/12/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion of Andraya Yearwood and Thania Edwards, on Behalf of her Daughter, T.M., to Intervene as Defendants [ECF# 36]
ED-CT-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/21/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest [ECF# 75]
ED-CT-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Verified Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Damages [ECF# 89]
ED-CT-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 92] (D. Conn.)
ED-CT-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2020
Source: ACLU
show all people docs
Judges Chatigny, Robert N. (D. Conn.) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0003 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brooks, Roger Greenwood (Arizona) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0001 | ED-CT-0007-0002 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Holcomb, Christiana (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0001 | ED-CT-0007-0002 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Howard, James H (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0001 | ED-CT-0007-0002 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Shafer, Jeffrey A (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0001 | ED-CT-0007-0002 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Waggoner, Kristen K. (Arizona) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0001 | ED-CT-0007-0002 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Wood, Howard M III (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0001 | ED-CT-0007-0002 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barrett, Dan (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0004 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Bischoff, Tyler (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Block, Joshua A (New York) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0004 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Esseks, James Dixon (New York) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0004 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Kaley, Lindsey (New York) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0004 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Monastersky, David S (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Murphy, Peter Joseph (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Roberts, Michael B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Sherwin, Galen (New York) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0004 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Shihabi, Mohammad (New York) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Smith, Elizabeth Mott (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Strangio, Chase (New York) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0004 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Yoder, Linda L. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Zelman, Johanna G (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Barr, William P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0005
Donnelly, Matthew J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0005 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Dreiband, Eric S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0005
Durham, John H. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0005
Gardner, Joshua Edward (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-9000 | ED-CT-0007-9000
Hughes, John B. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
ED-CT-0007-0005

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