Times-Dispatch editorial board shows support for transgender bathroom use almost by accident
As Gavin Grimm heads to DC in the coming months he’s sure to find support for his fight over bathroom use from many folks in the area, but few would expect the city’s oldest and traditionally conservative newspaper to be among them.
But here we are, 2016, with the TD shifting more libertarian (as shown with their endorsement of third-party Gary Johnson) and showing support for Grimm and transgender people in general in the most roundabout away.
Barton Hinkle, Senior Editorial Writer, Columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and now poorly photoshopped into the top image on this article, penned the opinion piece which opens up with a brutal scenario of a shooting in a mall and some how, maybe by accident, ends up supporting Grimm in his fight:
A man stabs a woman to death in a crowded store. Dozens of people see him do it. For good measure, he then confesses on tape. Should he be tried for murder, or should society skip the trial and just lock him up?
Most people would agree he should be tried despite his overwhelmingly obvious guilt. A nation of laws ought to abide by them. Besides, skipping the trial in this case would set a dangerous precedent. People might want to skip the trial in the next murder—where guilt isn’t quite so clear-cut.
On matters of regulatory interpretation, the courts generally defer to the executive agencies, under doctrines known as Chevron and Auer. This can cause—and has caused—immense problems. As an amicus brief filed by the Cato Institute in the Grimm case points out, gratuitous judicial deference to agency interpretation undermines bedrock principles of the rule of law.
It’s here where Hinkle takes issue with the tactics Grimm and the ACLU who represent him have been forced to use in order to access the correct bathroom. He argues, like many conservatives before him, that the courts shouldn’t be as powerful in their ability to make or change laws. Instead, congress should act to address the issues of the people, draft legislation and pass it accordingly.
Sadly, this ignores the last 60+ years of civil rights struggles, keeping with the Libertarian fantasy that the system will work if you work it. It also compares the fight for civil rights with a very public murder and that should probably be a bit alarming to folks.
Tell that to Grimm who now has to go to the SUPREME COURT to use the bathroom.
Hinkle goes on to criticize the Obama Administration and the Justice department for getting involved, and for the Department of Education sending a blanket notice to all school districts instructing them to respect the needs and issues faced by trans kids.
In this instance, the right way to craft rules about transgender students is to draft a proposal and submit it through the normal rule-making process—which includes public notice, comment, and so forth.
An even better way to go about it would be congressional legislation amending the 1972 law so that law-makers, rather than law-appliers, craft the new rules.
As we pointed out, and as civil rights leaders have stated many times before, leaving the rights of a minority up to the majority doesn’t work – you only have to look to the Virginia’s 2006 marriage amendment referendum to show that not only do people not know how to handle these issues, their opinions can change and drastically impact the lives of those around them for much longer than the three years it takes to amend our states constitution.
Still, right there at the bottom of the piece, Hinkle shows his cold, calculating and free-market-led Libertarian heart has a warm nougat center, even if part of his plan relies on our do-nothing and extremely conservative congress:
[Congress] should rule in favor of the Gavin Grimms of the world. Transgender individuals present no threat to anyone, and their accommodation can be managed with simple measures such as enclosed bathroom and changing stalls that protect both their privacy and the privacy of others. A few modest measures like those would hardly obliterate every distinction between the sexes.
I call that progress, even if it’s rooted in fantasy.
Gavin’s case is about much more than who gets to use which bathroom. Lives are at stake.March 15, 2017
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