Kristi Noem Has No Good Explanations For Vetoing The Girls’ Sports Bill
To truly fight, Gov. Kristi Noem should have signed the bill and demanded her state legislature pass more, such as a ban on the transgender mutilation of minors.
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Since reversing her support to finally veto a bill that would have required only females to play on female sports teams, South Dakota Kristi Noem has kicked up a whirlwind of rhetorical dirt about her decision. It all seems designed to confuse people about the key fact that she had a bill on her desk that would have outlawed males unfairly playing girls, and she vetoed it.
Many of her arguments for this decision contradict themselves, or her own actions. For example, Noem has repeatedly claimed that she has spent “months” examining this issue. At National Review Online Tuesday, she wrote, “Since November, my team and I have worked to find the best way to defend women’s sports effectively— not just to feel good, but to do good. We have to be able to win in court. It is for that reason that I asked the South Dakota state legislature to make revisions to HB 1217.”
This statement seems reasonable until you contrast it with the fact that just a few weeks ago Noem publicly stated that she supported HB 1217 as passed by the legislature and looked forward to signing it “very soon.” If she had been examining the issue “Since November,” what, then, explains her public endorsement of the bill four months later in March, then her swift reversal just a week after that public endorsement?
The only way to reconcile these two claims while assuming her honesty is for her alleged months of work and consultation with “legal scholars” to have led to her support for the bill that she announced in March. Yet that’s not what she ultimately followed through on, which leads one to believe she’s not telling the truth about her “work” on this issue “since November.” The only way to reasonably put these two items together, then, is to surmise Noem changed her position for political reasons and is attempting to cover it up.
That’s not the only self-contradiction she’s engaged in during this whole affair. Another is her claim that a major reason she vetoed the legislation is the threat of lawsuits.
“As passed, this bill was a trial lawyer’s dream. It would have immediately been enjoined had I signed it into law, meaning that no girls in South Dakota would have been protected,” she writes. Her article repeatedly alleges these potential legal threats yet never once explains from whence she believes they stem.
Based on the fact that other states have passed similar laws, including just last week Arkansas, one might surmise that other governors don’t believe these laws present trial lawyer bonanzas, or are not afraid of them. In Idaho, which passed the first girls’ sports protection bill, the NCAA has not sued nor withdrawn from the state, which Noem alleged on Tucker Carlson might happen in South Dakota.
The American Civil Liberties Union did sue to enjoin Idaho’s law. Yet if the ACLU is the threat Noem is afraid of, why did she argue she can’t fight them in court then sign two executive orders after her veto to ostensibly secure women’s sports for South Dakota’s K-12 and state university teams? She’s willing to go to court over her executive orders but not over a law? How does that make any sense?
As David Harsanyi writes:
Even if we concede that lawsuits would be in the offing, so what? At worst, South Dakota would be back where it started after a very public debate on an issue Noem claims is vitally important to her. At best, Title IX protections are restored. It’s tough to read Noem’s insincere rationalization a week after writing about someone like Jack Phillips, who stood up to an entire state to protect his religious liberty even after most people told him he would lose.
The ACLU certainly won’t refuse to litigate an issue because it stems from an executive order versus a law. That is, unless their legal opinion is that the gov…