BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Republican Party Chairman Raul Labrador has signed on to represent two college track athletes who want a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a new state law banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports.

The lawyer who served four terms in Congress before making an unsuccessful run for governor filed paperwork in federal court Tuesday to represent 19-year-old Madison Kenyon of Johnston, Colorado, and 20-year-old Mary Marshall of Twin Falls, Idaho.

The two Idaho State University track athletes say they’ve lost races to a transgender athlete from the University of Montana and that transgender athletes represent unfair competition. They’ve requested to side with the state of Idaho in fighting the lawsuit.

It was filed in mid-April by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Voice group that represents LGBTQ people. They contended the law violates the U.S. Constitution because it is discriminatory and an invasion of privacy. The groups are asking the court to permanently prevent Idaho from enforcing the law.

That lawsuit was a response to the law that Republican Gov. Brad Little signed in March after it received overwhelming support in the Republican-dominated House and Senate and universal opposition from Democrats. It takes effect July 1.

The ban prohibits transgender students who identify as female from playing on female teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. The ban does not apply to men’s teams.

Backers said the law, called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, was needed because transgender female athletes have physical advantages.

The track athletes challenging the lawsuit to overturn the law are already represented by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian nonprofit based in Scottsdale, Arizona

Alliance for Defending Freedom also represents the families of three Connecticut female high school runners who have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports.

Additionally, the group is representing churches in a lawsuit against Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, saying her social gathering restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic violated their constitutional right to the freedom of religion and assembly.

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