Nassau County can’t stop NY Attorney General Letitia James from suing over trans sports ban, judge says

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Thursday denied Nassau County’s request for an order preventing the state attorney general from suing the county over its sports ban on transgender women and girls.

The judge, Nusrat Choudhury, wrote in court papers that the Republican-led Long Island county lacked standing to bring the lone claim in a lawsuit filed last month against state Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.NY-TRANS-SPORTS-BAN

In court, Nassau County requested a temporary restraining order preventing James from suing over the ban, which forbids transgender women and girls in Nassau County from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity at about 100 county-run facilities.

In a 45-page opinion, Choudhury said the county’s “submission fails to demonstrate irreparable harm — a critical prerequisite for the issuance of a temporary restraining order.”

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, sued James’ office after she threatened legal action against the county over the ban, declaring it “transphobic and blatantly illegal” and instructing Blakeman to withdraw it immediately.

Her office also penned a cease-and-desist letter to Nassau County saying that the ban violated human rights law. The federal lawsuit has revolved around the cease-and-desist letter. As of Thursday, the attorney general had not sued Nassau County over the ban.

Blakeman’s lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York said James’ cease-and-desist letter violates the rights of “girls and women who are a federally recognized protected class.”

The complaint requested a declaratory judgment asserting that the county order is legal.

The state attorney general’s office responded in court documents by accusing Nassau County of breaking state and federal law and asking for Blakeman’s suit to be dismissed. But the attorney general stopped short of explicitly asking the court to quash the ban.

Blakeman said he issued the order to prevent trans women and girls from gaining an unfair competitive advantage. But he has been unable to cite an example of such an issue surfacing in his county.

Blakeman’s office did not immediately provide comment on the Thursday decision. James did not immediately comment on the decision.