On December 13, 2022, NWLC joined an amicus brief led by Equal Rights Advocates to the Ninth Circuit in support of Taylor Anders and all current and future women athletes at California State University Fresno.
Taylor and her then-teammates on the women’s lacrosse team originally filed this lawsuit in 2021, alleging that Fresno’s athletics program was in violation of Title IX’s gender equity mandate. After Fresno cut the women’s lacrosse team, the plaintiffs asked a federal court in California to continue their lawsuit as a class action on behalf of all current and future women student-athletes at Fresno. However, the court denied their request, holding that women from one sports team cannot constitutionally represent women from other teams. When the plaintiffs pointed out that they wanted to represent both lacrosse and non-lacrosse women athletes, the court then held that doing so would deprive lacrosse players of sports-specific advocacy. In other words, in the court’s view, Taylor and her former lacrosse teammates were both too lacrosse-focused to adequately represent all women athletes and too non-lacrosse-focused to adequately represent lacrosse players. The amicus brief explains that the district court’s decision and its Catch-22 reasoning would eviscerate class action lawsuits as a vehicle for enforcing Title IX in women’s sports as intended by Congress, and, accordingly, the Ninth Circuit should reverse.