Politics notebook | Iowa Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in on case that bans most abortions

Biden proposes changes to Title IX barring states from placing restrictions on transgender participants in collegiate athletics, with some exceptions, and conservative Matt Walsh will visit the University of Iowa campus.


Matt Sindt

Pro-choice protesters stand in front of the Emma Goldman Clinic during an abortion protest and counter protest outside of the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. (Matt Sindt/The Daily Iowan)

Liam Halawith, Politics Editor

The Iowa Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments next week in the legal battle to reinstate a 2018 so-called fetal heartbeat bill that was struck down by a Polk County District Court Judge in 2019. 

Following the decision in Dobbs V. Jackson in June 2022, Gov. Kim Reynolds asked a judge in the Polk County District Court to overturn the 2019 injunction. Reynolds’ lawyers argued the precedent for the injunction had been overturned by the Iowa Supreme Court. 

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood, who originally brought the case that granted the injunction, argued that there is no precedent to overturn an injunction because the law was unconstitutional at its enactment. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed five of the seven justices who sit on the state’s highest court. 

U.S. Department of Education announces Title IX changes to protect trans athletes

The U.S. Department of Education announced a change in Title IX rules on Thursday to protect students from sex-based discrimination. The rule changes make it illegal for schools to bar transgender students from sports teams that align with their gender identity. 

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said every student should be able to reap the benefits of participation in school athletics. 

“Every student should be able to have the full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination,” Cardona said in a news release on Thursday. “Being on a sports team is an important part of the school experience for students of all ages.”

Iowa is one of 19 states that have passed laws prohibiting transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports. Reynolds, a champion of Iowa’s legislation banning transgender girls’ participation in girls’ sports, said the rule created an unfair advantage for transgender women who compete in women’s sports. 

“Generations of women have fought for Title IX and the opportunity to compete,” Reynolds said in a news release on Thursday. “It’s a slap in the face to female athletes across the country, both past and present.” 

The proposed changes include provisions on some sex-based requirements for participation that achieve educational goals like fairness in competition. However, these rules would still need to comply with non-discrimination guidelines in the rules. 

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh set to visit the University of Iowa this month

Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator for The Daily Wire, author, and documentary filmmaker is visiting the University of Iowa campus on April 19. 

Walsh, who is invited by the UI’s Young Americans for Freedom a conservative student organization, will speak in the main lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union at 7 p.m. following a screening of his film “What is a Woman?” in the Iowa Theater in the Iowa Memorial Union at 4:15 p.m. 

Walsh’s film focuses on gender-affirming care for minors and other conservative commentary surrounding transgender identities. 

Tickets for the screening and speech are available online