Out-of-state lawyer to defend Arizona law barring transgender girls from girl's sports

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, May 4, 2023 - 7:26am

Ben Toma
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Ben Toma

Top legislative Republicans have hired an out-of-state attorney to defend a 2022 Arizona law that forbids transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports.

In new legal pleadings, Justin Smith of St. Louis told a federal judge that state Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma can intervene in the case. 

That is because Attorney General Kris Mayes has disqualified herself from defending the statute, as her views did not align with Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne who is the defendant. 

While Mayes gave Horne permission to hire his own attorney, Justin Smith says he has yet to file any papers. 

Smith added that Toma and Petersen have legislative interests  in defending the validity of the law. No date is set for arguments.

Warren Petersen
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Warren Petersen

Politics Education Gender