I wrote this post on the Center of the American Experiment web site, but I think it has interest for a national audience, so I am reproducing it here. It is about the Trump administration’s withdrawal of the Obama administration’s “guidance” on co-ed bathrooms and showers. The question I pose is, why would a Democratic governor be outraged that a Republican president has ceded power to his state? Here is the post:
President Trump has revoked the Obama administration’s bizarre “guidance” asserting that federal law required every public school in America to sponsor co-ed bathrooms and showers on behalf of those who “identify” with the opposite sex. How the federal government has to constitutional authority to regulate the gender composition of bathrooms was never explained.
You might think that governors would appreciate the fact that an absurd Washington overreach has been withdrawn, leaving states, towns and schools to pursue the policies they think best. But, as to Governor Dayton, you would be wrong. Dayton attacked the administration’s action yesterday:
“I strongly disagree with the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the protections that his predecessor provided for transgender students in being able to use school bathrooms which match their gender identities,” Dayton said during a news conference Thursday.
Dayton rejected the idea that shower usage is a “states’ rights issue — it is a human rights issue, and it should be a constitutionally protected right.” Of course, there is no constitutional right to use the bathroom of one’s choice or to shower with high school girls, although liberal justices might someday find such a right hiding somewhere in the Constitution.
But this is what I don’t get: if Governor Dayton really believes that everyone has a right to shower with the gender of his or her choice, why doesn’t he effectuate that belief here in Minnesota? His own Commissioner of Education could perhaps decree co-ed showers, or, in any event, his Democratic colleagues could introduce such legislation. What are they waiting for? With the federal government out of the picture, the power is in their hands.
Perhaps that is really what they are unhappy about.
It is not exactly a news flash that the Left has abandoned any pretense of interest in federalism. But I think part of what is going on here is that liberals are glad to have left-wing policies that are unpopular with their constituents imposed by far-off and unresponsive Washington.