The year was 2010. President Barack Obama was in office, and Democrats controlled the Senate. Obama could practically get any judge he wanted, but he could not get his nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Robert Chatigny, confirmed based on Chatigny’s track record of favoring sexual predators over women and children. Now this same judge is prejudicing the case against female athletes by imposing a speech code on their counsel.
Judge Chatigny has a very troubling record. As I wrote at the time, serial killer Michael Ross explained in a documentary how he bound 14-year-old Leslie Shelley, stuffed her in his car trunk, and “took the other [14-year-old] girl, April Brunais, out, and I raped her and killed her, and I put her in the front seat.” Ross said he had killed eight women and girls, ranging in age from 14 to 25, and if he hadn’t been arrested, he would still be killing.
Yet Chatigny said Ross “never should have been convicted.” Chatigny suggested that “sexual sadism is clearly a mitigating factor.” So, according to this judge, sexual sadists deserve less time in prison because they are sick.
There is much more to that story. Chatigny’s actions were so egregious that state prosecutors filed an ethics complaint against him.
The judge also has a track record of leniency on sex crimes. In the case of a 27-year-old man who lured a 15-year-old girl online, the sentencing guidelines called for 57-71 months, but Chatigny gave the man only 36 months because he concluded that the subject was remorseful, and it happened only once.
That’s not all. In the 12 child pornography cases Chatigny heard at the time, he sentenced the perpetrator to less than the minimum recommendation in eight.
Chatigny’s record was so alarming, Concerned Women for America, the organization I lead, got the attention of prominent female senators from both sides of the aisle who were just as troubled by the nomination. He was never brought forth for a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Imagine my shock then, to hear it is Chatigny (who retained his seat in the district court) who is now bullying young female athletes in their case against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
Four brave young women are fighting for their rights under Title IX to compete in athletic events without facing discrimination because of their sex, as provided under federal law. The girls are currently being discriminated against, as the state athletic conference is allowing transgender athletes, men identifying as women, to dominate female sports.
Even before the case is argued, Chatigny is siding with one party by forcing counsel to refer to these biological male athletes as “transgender females.” Counsel cannot say they are male. Chatigny said:
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. 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.
In Chatigny’s twisted logic, calling a biological male “male” is somehow inaccurate.
This is especially egregious in this case, wherein the biological makeup of men versus women is at the center of the unfair advantage that will harm women and deny them opportunities in athletics forever. If these policies continue, allowing males to take advantage of their biological makeup to compete against women, it will set back the progress made to protect women’s rights by decades. This is why prominent athletes, such as Martina Navratilova, have spoken out against these policies, calling them “insane.”
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.
Yet Chatigny gave Brooks “some time to think about it,” and was already suggesting he would need to appeal or face punishment from the judge.
Chatigny’s order is a slap in the face of these young female athletes. Without arguments by counsel or any evidence whatsoever, this judge predetermined the outcome of the case in violation of his oath of office.
Once again, it feels like women lose in Chatigny’s courtroom. He should, at the very least, recuse himself. But given the history, I’m afraid Judge Chatigny’s poor judgment extends far beyond this issue.