Legal Advocacy in Action: AAUW Signs On to New Amicus Brief

What Is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit?
The Third Circuit is one of the 13 appellate courts that sit below the U.S. Supreme Court. The appellate court’s task is to determine whether or not the law was applied correctly in the trial court. A court of appeals hears challenges to district court decisions from courts located within its circuit. The Third Circuit includes Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, involves the rights of transgender students under Title IX. The plaintiffs are students who sued their school district in Pennsylvania to discontinue the district’s policy of permitting transgender students to use the facilities that align with their gender identity, arguing that the possibility of being in the presence of a transgender student violates their privacy rights and amounts to a hostile environment, which is a violation of Title IX.
On August 25, 2017, Judge Edward G. Smith of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction that would require the school district to revert to its previous practice before it permitted transgender students to use the facility of their choice, but the plaintiffs appealed to the district court.

AAUW, along with 12 other organizations, signed on to an amicus brief in support of the Boyertown school district. The brief highlights the history and purpose of Title IX, which is one of the most valuable tools in ensuring access to education, and identifies Title IX’s role in eliminating sex stereotypes from education. 

According to the brief, “To meet Congress’s goal of eradicating sex discrimination in education, Title IX defines discrimination on the basis of sex broadly to include a prohibition on sex stereotyping.” Sex stereotyping is the idea that an individual must conform to the traditional cultural norms of the gender typically associated with their sex. For example, sex stereotyping would confine someone who was identified as female at birth to wearing dresses and playing with dolls.

AAUW Member Support Is Crucial to LAF Plaintiffs! 

In a recent video, LAF plaintiff Aileen Rizo expressed her appreciation for the support she’s received from LAF and AAUW.

Aileen Rizo Video

Calling All Legal Advocates

You are one of the greatest resources women and girls have in the campaign to achieve gender equality. Take action by referring cases concerning Title VII, Title IX, equal pay, sexual harassment, and tenure denial litigation for financial and organizational support through AAUW and encourage your clients, friends, and associates to apply as well.

Let’s work together to change the landscape for women and girls.

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