Sunday, June 09, 2024

Skrmetti’s dedication to upholding the rule of law.

by MEGAN PODSIEDLIK, reposted from The Pamphleteer, June 9, 2024 - Last month, in the wake of his decision to sue the federal Department of Education over its “dangerous overhaul” of Title IX, Attorney General Skrmetti found himself at odds with GOP hardliners. Amidst the Biden administration's efforts to redefine “sex” to include “gender identity,” introducing gender fluidity in locker rooms and youth sporting events alike, the AG encouraged Tennessee schools to comply with the changes until the matter was clarified in court, upsetting and confusing his base.

“It is unconstitutional and you know it,” said one commenter on X.  “Your oath is to the constitution. Obeying Biden's dictatorial decree is a betrayal of that oath, and as described in the constitution, ‘the people.’” While those on the right of this issue have expressed disappointment over Skrmetti’s by-the-book approach, many on the left have categorized the AG as acrusader for the “radical right” throughout his short tenure. But there’s a bit more to glean from Skrmetti’s dedication to upholding the rule of law.

“Obviously, we want to get clarity on that quickly, because if the rules aren't going into effect, people don't need to be spinning their wheels trying to create new policies to comply with them,” Skrmetti told The Pamphleteer during a phone interview. “We have a hearing on our preliminary injunction request coming up in June, and so we should know in June whether or not these rules will be going into effect on August 1st.”

The AG wasn’t dismissive of the state of limbo created by the pending litigation. “We try to get injunctions quickly, and that way at least they're not under the burden of the illegal rules during the pendency of the case,” he said. Skrmetti was also optimistic that his office might get some answers before the changes take effect in the upcoming school year. “We've got a judge that I think recognizes the need for clarity and has a pretty expedited schedule for us.”

At the end of the day, the AG said, Tennessee schools can set their own guidelines. “...It's largely a spending policy issue,” he said of the new mandates. “It's not really a matter of not complying, it's a matter of, ‘Are you going to take this federal money or not?’”

That being said, Skrmetti plans to fight Biden’s changes to the bitter end. “Under this radical and illegal attempt to rewrite the statute, if a man enters a woman’s locker room and a woman complains that makes her uncomfortable, the woman will be subject to investigation and penalties for violating the man’s civil rights,” reads a statement released by his office after he announced the suit in April. “Federal bureaucrats have no power to rewrite laws passed by the people’s elected representatives, and I expect the courts will put a stop to this unconstitutional power grab.”

Skrmetti’s battle over Title IX is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protecting today’s youth. The AG also told us he hopes the US Supreme Court will take up the L.W. case, which addresses Tennessee’s “prohibition on juveniles getting hormone treatments, puberty blockers, or surgeries for gender transition purposes.” 

“Over and over, the federal courts had held that states could not pass these laws,” he told us. “We were the first state to win. We filed an emergency stay motion with the Sixth Circuit and got an opinion saying states do have the authority to regulate, limit, and prohibit pediatric transgender treatments. We got an even better opinion from Chief Judge Sutton when they went back and heard the case more thoroughly.”

His hope is that a ruling from the nation’s highest court might provide clarity when it comes to dealing with future gender identity cases. “The Bostock case is pretty narrow and deals with sex discrimination in the employment context, and explicitly excluded a lot of other considerations,” said Skrmetti. “There's still open questions about how the equal protection clause of the Constitution might apply. I don't know that the Supreme Court will take this, but if they don't take this case, they have to answer some of these big questions. Hopefully soon, because there's a lot of litigation going on that would be resolved with more clarity from the court.” 

Rod's Comment: Excellent reporting! The Pamphleteer is a local conservative voice of sanity at a time when many on the right have lost their mind. Please subscribe at this link

Skrmetti takes a lot of heat from the left, but unfortunately there are loud voices on the right who think anyone not ready to fire on Fort Sumter is a sell-out to the Deep State. We are fortunate to have Skrmetti as Tennessee's Attorney General.

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