Commentary

Davenport: State Lawsuits Over Bathrooms About Federal-State Power

Many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court seem to be about healthcare or education or civil rights but, at a deeper level, they are about federal versus state power.  In fact, that is why 11 states recently sued the Obama administration over federal guidance about transgender bathroom rights.

Historically K-12 education has been a classic matter of local and state control.  But first came No Child Left Behind, then Common Core, now transgender bathrooms, and it would appear that the federal government is very much taking over our schools.  Since the Constitution does not empower the federal government to run education, this is all accomplished by threatening to give or withhold federal funding.

Yes the case is about transgender civil rights, and also the privacy and religious rights of other students.  But it is also an attempt by the federal government to carry out a social experiment on state and local schools.

As Texas governor Greg Abbott put it, “Obama is not king.”

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Medved: Transgender Awareness in Kindergarten?

Public school officials in Washington State recently revealed an appalling new program to teach transgender awareness beginning in kindergarten as part of a new curriculum that will leave children even more confused and troubled as they approach puberty.

Kindergartners in Washington are now supposed learn that “there are many ways to express gender.” Gender identity is defined by the state as someone’s “inner sense of their own gender,” not to be confused with gender expression which is “the way someone outwardly expresses their gender.”

Fifth graders are encouraged to “identify trusted adults to ask questions about gender identity and sexual orientation”—with no hint here that they might actually look to their parents as those “trusted adults.” It’s hard enough for children to grow up in today’s highly sexualized, often decadent world, but asking them to begin questioning their own “gender identity,” “gender expression” and “sexual orientation” as early as kindergarten is a form of child abuse, in the name of sensitivity.

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Mohler: Yale’s Public Signaling

With commencement season in just about every major academic institution this time of year, USA Today published an article, the headline: “Yale’s neutral bathrooms part of a changing climate”

Joining the moral revolution and explicitly the LGBT revolution, Yale has decided that it is going to create gender inclusive bathrooms. They’re now available on the campus map ready for the commencement exercises.

The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale said this: “Yale aims to be a leader on this front. Part of what is important about the all-gender bathroom project and about getting it at the top of our commencement site, is this is about public signaling.”

Well, something tells me the President of Yale University probably wasn’t really thankful for the Dean letting the cat out of the bag. Yale here is admitting that it’s doing this because it wants to be seen as doing this. It’s about “public signaling.” Well, Yale, you sent the signal.

Signal sent, signal received.

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Medved: Can We Count on Trump to Pick the Right Judges?

Despite Donald Trump’s obvious shortcomings as a candidate, his enthusiastic supporters argue that his commitment to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court should persuade all Republicans to unite behind him.

His racially-tinged assault on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, however, and his repeated promises to use the justice department and the courts to “put Hillary in jail” undermine this argument. Trump demonstrates no respect for an independent, impartial judiciary.

Worst of all, the purpose of the openly expressed intimidation involves personal, not political, issues—beating the rap on the fraud charges against Trump University and beating Hillary in a personalized contest for the White House. Whatever his current promises, Trump as president would be more likely to appoint pliant justices he felt he could bend to his will rather than selecting the independent Constitutionalists the country needs on the high court.

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Brooks: Forces Behind Trump And Sanders

My Democrat friends are quick to tell me that Donald Trump’s popularity is fueled by racism and nationalism of Republicans. I can imagine some of you have heard it too.

I don’t think that’s the right explanation. I’m certainly not going to claim that there’s no racism, but a better explanation for Trump’s rise is the simple fact that our economy has created effectively zero percent economic growth for the bottom four-fifths of the population since the Great Recession.

History tells us that these lackluster recoveries are fairly predictable after financial crises, and the average citizen’s living standards can take a decade or longer to recover.

The result is almost always an uptick in political populism, either right wing (“Raise the drawbridge”) or left wing (“Off with their heads”) or both.

Now, these forces aren’t necessarily overwhelming, but it certainly does torque the political system for a while.

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Mohler: Transgender Bathroom Laws Worry Parents

“Even in Liberal Communities, Transgender Bathroom Laws Worry Parents.”

That’s the title of a recent article in Time magazine when Belinda Luscombe notes that, “Girls from a swim team in New York City’s Upper West Side are too scared to use the women’s locker room at a Parks Department swimming pool. In March, a sign appeared noting that everyone has the right to use the restroom or locker room consistent with their ‘gender identity or gender expression.’ Around the same time, the girls, who range in age from about seven to 18, became concerned after they saw a “bearded individual” in the women’s changing room.”

Eighteen girls, we’re told, are now being required to use the alternative facility, which in this case is a family bathroom intended for one person, while the so-called “bearded individual” may continue to use the women’s bathroom. Insanity.

As this Time article makes clear, these liberal parents in New York City who say they support all of these gender inclusive and LGBT policies don’t actually want them when they apply to their own children, in particular their daughters.

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Medved: Fourth Party Prospects for Victory

Third party candidacies are generally a waste of time, but this year a fourth party candidacy could capture the White House.

Here’s how it might work: with Democrats deeply divided, the Bernie brigades might walk out of the convention, with Senator Sanders or someone else from his camp running as the Green Party nominee. That would create an opening for an independent conservative candidate—like Senator Ben Sasse, or Condoleezza Rice, or Mitt Romney. With four November contenders each likely to draw at least 20% of the popular vote, a candidate could win with just 30%. And with four candidates sharing debate stages, and each carrying a few states, chances are good that there’d be no Electoral College majority—sending the decision to the House of Representatives, where mainstream conservatives predominate.

Best of all, with four candidates, voters could choose a leader they like, rather than voting for Trump just out of hatred for Clinton, or backing Clinton because of fear of Trump.

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