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    Biden overplayed his hand on Title IX rewrite. Women and the courts are pushing back.

    By Ingrid Jacques, USA TODAY,

    25 days ago

    Inflation and immigration are at the top of voters’ minds this presidential election year, but there’s another issue that deserves your attention: preserving the integrity of women’s sports and spaces.

    In an effort to score political points among the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, President Joe Biden earlier this year used his executive authority to fundamentally change the point of the Title IX civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs that take federal dollars.

    The 1972 law has been a game changer for women and their access to college sports. Yet, Biden’s Title IX rewrite turned the law on its head by prioritizing gender identity over sex – opening the door for transgender athletes in women and girls’ sports teams and locker rooms.

    Thankfully, women athletes and advocates – and now the courts – are standing up to this detrimental development.

    One group of women who care deeply about preserving the original intent of Title IX have hopped on a bus and are touring the country this month to let people know why the issue matters.

    Tulsi Gabbard is one of those women. The former Democratic U.S. representative turned independent, and potential vice presidential pick of Donald Trump, is part of the bus tour.

    “This should be an important issue for everyone,” Gabbard told me recently.
    Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at an Our Bodies, Our Sports rally in June. Independent Women's Forum

    Gabbard advocated for protecting women’s sports when she was in Congress and is still an outspoken defender of fairness for women athletes. She’s displeased but not surprised that Biden undermined Title IX in this way.

    It’s one of the reasons she’s open to being Trump’s running mate . Trump has promised to overturn Biden’s transgender policies .

    “I want to be in a position to make the most impact on issues of objective truth like this,” Gabbard said. “The very first step is to start to fix what has gone terribly wrong.”

    Biden fumbles Title IX: Biden's new Title IX rules bring back 'kangaroo courts.' They will hurt, not help, women.

    These women have a message for Biden: Back off

    The “ Take Back Title IX ” bus tour has crisscrossed the country, targeting states with competitive congressional races. Our Bodies, Our Sports – a coalition of women’s advocacy organizations that includes the Independent Women’s Forum, the Independent Council on Women’s Sports and Concerned Women for America – is hosting the tour.

    The women will head to Washington, D.C., next week to mark the 52nd anniversary of Title IX – and its original intent. They want to send Biden a message.
    Riley Gaines speaks at an Our Bodies, Our Sports bus tour rally. Independent Women's Forum

    “If you have a president, someone who’s leading this country, who can’t answer what a woman is or denies that there’s a clear biological distinction between the sexes, there are no limits, there is nothing that he won’t deny,” Riley Gaines, an ambassador with the Independent Women’s Forum and host of OutKick’s “ Gaines for Girls ” podcast, told me.

    Gaines has become a leading proponent for women’s sports in the two years since she was forced to compete against collegiate transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

    “I think it’s more than even the implications of what Title IX means specifically as it pertains to sports or colleges, but more broadly what this means about future actions that will be taken if we don’t question this,” Gaines said.

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    Courts say Biden overreached in Title IX rewrite

    Biden’s revamped Title IX regulations have garnered numerous lawsuits, and the courts are siding with these concerned women.

    In the past week alone, two federal judges have temporarily halted the implementation of the new rules, affecting 10 states: Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana.

    Women sue NCAA: These women say transgender rules discriminate against them. So they're suing the NCAA.

    U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves on Monday ruled that the regulation is “ arbitrary in the truest sense of the word .”

    International sports organizations also are siding with keeping women’s sports for women. The Court of Arbitration for Sport this month upheld the policy by World Aquatics, the international swimming federation, that prevents transgender athletes who have gone through male puberty from competing in the women’s category. Thomas, the transgender swimmer who competed against Gaines, brought the challenge.
    Madisan DeBos is a Southern Utah University Division 1 cross country and track athlete who is part of the Our Bodies, Our Sports bus tour. Independent Women's Forum

    For athletes like Madisan DeBos , a cross-country and track runner at Southern Utah University, these are hopeful developments. Yet, she’s still concerned about what could happen if Biden’s regulations stay in place.

    “I think that this could lead to no women’s sports at all,” DeBos told me. “That is extremely disheartening and we work so hard to get to where we are, and I see every single day what athletics have done for not only myself but for my teammates.

    “I’ve seen the opportunities and the confidence and all of that stuff that is instilled in them, and I think we just are going to take those opportunities away from women if we can’t define the difference between a man and a woman.”

    If Biden isn't wise enough to listen to these women, Trump has made it clear that he will.

    Ingrid Jacques is a columnist at USA TODAY. Contact her at or on X, formerly Twitter: @ Ingrid_Jacques .

    You can read diverse opinions from our USA TODAY columnists and other writers on the Opinion front page , on X, formerly Twitter, @usatodayopinion and in our Opinion newsletter .

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden overplayed his hand on Title IX rewrite. Women and the courts are pushing back.

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