Judge Undermines Girls' Entire Case Against Trans Athletes


U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny is a popular man among the kinds of people who put “he/his/him” on their Twitter profiles.

Chatigny is the presiding judge in a lawsuit brought by three Connecticut female high school track athletes — Selina Soule, Alana Smith and Chelsea Mitchell — against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

Lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom claim their clients’ Title IX rights have been violated because the CIAC’s policy, which allows athletes to compete under the gender they feel closest aligns to their identity, discriminates against their clients on the “basis of sex.”

Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, two boys who identify as female, have won 15 indoor and outdoor championships in Connecticut since 2017. One year before that, 10 different girls held those titles.

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Even trans advocates admit there’s no way to guarantee an even playing field — and with a different bone structure and larger internal organs, including the lungs and heart, there’s probably no amount of hormone treatment that can bring the two into alignment.

Connecticut doesn’t even make a show of fairness, either, allowing trans athletes to compete in the division of their choice without restrictions. Both the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the International Olympic Committee require hormonal therapy to bring down testosterone levels in men wishing to compete as women.

Regardless of the rules, these are the differences between men and women. That’s plain and simple — and those differences, such as they may be, form the basis of the lawsuit.

Should these lawyers be able to refer to "transgender female" athletes as "male"?

But according to court documents obtained by National Review, Chatigny has undercut the entire basis of that case by forbidding the lawyers from the ADF from mentioning the fact the trans athletes are male.

“What I’m saying is you must refer to them as ‘transgender females’ rather than as ‘males.’ Again, that’s the more accurate terminology, and I think that it fully protects your client’s legitimate interests,” the judge said.

“Referring to these individuals as ‘transgender females’ is consistent with science, common practice and perhaps human decency. To refer to them as ‘males,’ period, is not accurate, certainly not as accurate, and I think it’s needlessly provocative.”

Chatigny is just helping them out, see? They wouldn’t want to be “needlessly provocative,” would they? It wouldn’t serve their clients’ legitimate interests.

“I don’t think that you surrender any legitimate interest or position if you refer to them as transgender females,” he continued.

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“That is what the case is about. This isn’t a case involving males who have decided that they want to run in girls’ events. This is a case about girls who say that transgender girls should not be allowed to run in girls’ events. So going forward, we will not refer to the proposed intervenors as ‘males’; understood?”

Roger Brooks, lead attorney for the ADF contingent, countered that this was the crux of the entire case.

“The entire focus of the case is the fact that the CIAC policy allows individuals who are physiologically, genetically male to compete in girls’ athletics. But if I use the term ‘females’ to describe those individuals — and we’ve said in our opening brief, we’re happy to use their preferred names, because names are not the point to the case,” he said, according to National Review.

“Gender identity is not the point of this case. The point of this case is physiology of bodies driven by chromosomes and the documented athletic advantage that comes from a male body, male hormones, and male puberty in particular.

“So, Your Honor, I do have a concern that I am not adequately representing my client and I’m not accurately representing their position in this case as it has to be argued before Your Honor and all the way up if I refer to these individuals as ‘female,’ because that’s simply, when we’re talking about physiology, that’s not accurate, at least in the belief of my clients.”

Brooks said he was “not sure” he could comply with the judge’s order. He also said he’d prefer to refer to the biologically male runners as “transgender” as opposed to “transgender females”; this Chatigny granted.

“So if you feel strongly that you and your clients have a right to refer to these individuals as ‘males’ and that you therefore do not want to comply with my order, then that’s unfortunate,” the judge said.

“But I’ll give you some time to think about it and you can let me know if it’s a problem. If it is, gosh, maybe we’ll need to do something. I don’t want to bully you, but at the same time, I don’t want you to be bullying anybody else. Maybe you might need to take an application to the Court of Appeals. I don’t know. But I certainly don’t want to put civility at risk in this case.”

I wasn’t there on the call, but Chatigny’s response sounds more like an “Office Space”-esque passive-aggressive boss than a judge. Beyond that, however, there’s the talk of “civility” and “bullying.”

The entire point of this case is about inherent biological differences between males and females.

Even if you’re of the opinion that males who are in some state of transition to female-hood are in fact female, the facts of the case deal with the ways females differ, biologically, from males. Almost all of those biological differences come from the Y chromosome. How is bringing this up “bullying”? Is it automatically a lapse of “civility” if you don’t play by the rules set out by the left?

Chatigny is undermining the entire basis behind the lawsuit because that basis doesn’t fit with the prevailing winds in that intersecting corner of the liberal world and the judicial system.

The ADF, calling the judge’s order “legally unprecedented,” challenged the linguistic strictures in a Saturday filing.

“A disinterested observer would reasonably believe that the Court’s order and comments have destroyed the appearance of impartiality in this proceeding. That requires recusal,” the motion read.

“To be sure, the public debate over gender identity and sports is a heated and emotional one. This only increases the urgency that court preserve their role as the singular place in society where all can be heard and present facts before an impartial tribunal.”

ADF Filing by The Western Journal on Scribd

One thing’s for sure: If these female athletes have the same judge when this goes to trial, nobody’s going to be talking about an impartial tribunal.

There’s nothing “consistent with science,” in this case, to call two males competing in female sports with no restrictions “females” or “transgender females.” The crux of the case is that they’re male.

It isn’t “needlessly provocative” to say the facts, either, when the majority of America is behind them, according to polling.

Their lawyers need to be able to make this case, even if Judge Chatigny believes it to be impolitic.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture