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Merrick Garland Won’t Say If He Supports Protecting Female Sports

Merrick Garland

Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s nominee for attorney general, dodged a question about his opinion on biological males playing in female sports, saying it’s a “very difficult societal question.”


Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, dodged a question about his opinion on biological males playing in female sports, a hot topic following Biden’s recent pro-transgender executive order mandating that any schools that receive federal funding must allow male athletes who claim their gender identity is female to compete on women’s teams, receive women’s scholarships, and be admitted in women’s locker rooms.

During Garland’s confirmation hearing on Monday, Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana pressed the judge on the issue, asking him if he agreed that “allowing biological males to compete in an all-female sport deprives women of the opportunity to participate fully and fairly in sports and is fundamentally unfair to female athletes.”

Garland, however, responded with a non-answer, claiming it is a “very difficult societal question.”

“I know, but you’re going to be attorney general,” Kennedy pointed out.

“I may not be the one who has to make policy decisions like that, but it’s not that I’m averse to it,” Garland said. “Look, I think every human being should be treated with dignity and respect, and that’s an overriding sense of my own character but an overriding sense of what the law requires.”

He also noted how he would have to review cases involving these situations before he could make a clear judgment on such a “difficult question.”

Garland’s answer mimicked the same phrasing White House press secretary Jen Psaki used when asked a similar question a few weeks earlier.

“What message would the White House have for trans girls and cis girls who may end up competing against each other and sparking some lawsuits and some concern among parents? So does the administration have guidance for schools and dealing with disputes arising over trans girls competing against and with cis girls?” a reporter asked, referencing cases in which parents were upset when biological males played in female sports.

“I would just say that the president’s belief is that trans rights are human rights, and that’s why he signed that executive order,” Psaki said. “And in terms of the determinations by universities and colleges, I’d certainly defer to them.”