Saturday, August 6, 2016

North Carolina Bathroom Battle Brings Out the Big Guns – DOJ Plus Business

Talk about a federal clamp-down. Nearly 70 of the country’s largest corporations have jumped into the LGBT boat with the Obama administration’s heavy-handed Department of Justice and set course toward one target: North Carolina’s bathroom law.

Who’d have thought transgender rights would be the issue that finally moved this administration past campaign rhetoric and into the field of actual action?

After all, America suffered through red line after red line in the Syria fiasco – in which President Obama kept threatening, then backtracking on threats, then threatening again to take military action if President Assad didn’t turn over his cache of chemical weapons. Then Americans suffered through month after month, turning to year after year, of dismal job prospects, all the while tuning in to national TV to hear a do-nothing Obama brag about the feds’ more positively skewed statistics. Then the world watched and waited for Obama to take decisive action on terrorism and ISIS – and, sadly, as any good Orlando, Florida, or Nice, Paris, resident could confirm, is still watching and waiting.

But making sure girls’ bathroom doors are open to boys, and women’s to men? Obama’s on it.

His latest is to make sure North Carolina, which passed a law – (Note to Obama: You know, that thing that goes through the legislative process and is duly debated and decided by the constitutionally elected?) – called the “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act,” requiring individuals to use the public restrooms that conform to their birth genders. The law was North Carolina’s defense against Obama’s unilateral – meaning, devoid of Congress – dictate to states, via Justice Department and Education Department letters, to open public school restrooms and changing facilities to those of both genders, so that boys who went to bed on Monday as males but awoke on Tuesday as females could then use the girl’s facilities.

North Carolinians didn’t agree with that line of thinking, and thus, HB2 was born, via electorate-supported legislation.

But Obama doesn’t agree with North Carolina’s stance, aligned with the Tenth Amendment and states’ rights as it is, and sent out his federal top law enforcement dogs to issue a quick smack-down. The Justice Department in early May filed a suit to halt North Carolina’s law from taking effect – and this time, dozens of big businesses piled on to pressure the state to back down. Specifically, in early July, almost 70 of the country’s top corporations, including PayPal, Nike, Capital One, IBM, Salesforce, Apple, American Airlines and Marriott, jumped into the legal fray and filed a legal brief with the Human Rights Campaign in support of the Obama administration and its Justice Department’s demands.

What a heavy boot for something like 0.3 percent of the country’s population. If only Obama could amass such a speedy and hefty show of force against America’s enemies – against radical Islamists, for example, or North Korean dictators vowing to obliterate the West.

But this battle for transgender rights being waged by the Obama administration is not really about transgender rights. It’s about upsetting a republic and overturning a Constitution – about tossing out the traditional and heralding in a new order, one that talks a talk of fairness and justice but walks a walk of intolerance for all views tinged with conservatism, Christianity or even unbridled American patriotism.

With the suit, this is the message Obama, the Justice Department and Big Business send: White House wishes trump legislatively enacted law.

Or, as Justin Danhof, legal counsel and director of the Free Enterprise Project for the National Center for Public Policy Research put it: “Since the DOJ doesn’t have the constitutional authority to rewrite laws, it is trying to seek the same result by establishing precedent with this court case. Such a result would irreparably damage America’s unique separation of powers and open the floodgates for increased executive branch control over state and local matters.”

In other words, not only would Obama get to play king, once again. But future presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, would have a clear path to play the king’s role themselves. Bathroom rights? Think longer term. Transgender justice? Hardly. This battle over gender is about power, control and the fate of Americans to govern as Founding Fathers envisioned.

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