Update on Cooper vs. USAPL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2022
Erin Hart, Communications Director
Gender Justice appeared in court for a hearing on behalf of our client, JayCee Cooper. JayCee is a trans athlete who in 2018 was denied entry into competitions hosted by USA Powerlifting (USAPL) because she is a trans woman. USAPL then instituted a policy banning all trans women from participating in its women’s powerlifting competitions.
In 2021, Gender Justice and our co-counsel Nichols Kaster and Premo Frank sued USAPL for discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). Today’s court hearing was on several motions, including motions for summary judgment filed by both Gender Justice and USAPL. Summary judgment can be entered by the court for a moving party when there is no genuine dispute of any material fact, which means there is no need for a trial, and the case can be decided as a matter of law.
Gender Justice argued that the court should grant summary judgment on JayCee’s claim of discrimination against USAPL because on its face, USAPL’s policy banning trans athletes violates the MHRA’s prohibition on discrimination against transgender people.
“USAPL’s policy singles out trans athletes purely on the basis of their gender identity, which is exactly the type of discrimination that is against the law under the Minnesota Human Rights Act,” said Christy Hall, Senior Staff Attorney at Gender Justice. “After today’s hearing, we are one step closer to making sure trans athletes like JayCee, and trans people everywhere in Minnesota, can pursue their dreams and goals without experiencing discrimination simply for being who they are.”