As the Obama presidency draws to a close, it’s clear the president will more conspicuously ignore our constitutional system and instead rely exclusively on raw executive authority to radically change the country and cement his legacy as the radical-in-chief. That this approach further erodes our constitutional structure of divided government and checks and balances is of no concern to our “law professor” president.
Thus, on the heels of the administration’s absurd lawsuit against North Carolina over the bathroom law, the administration threatened every public school in the country with legal sanction and loss of federal funding unless it complies with the administration’s radical re-write of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and allows transgender students to use whatever bathroom corresponds to their “gender identity,” their “internal sense of gender.”
Pursuant to the administration’s May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter, public school students nationwide must be allowed to use whatever restroom fits their view of their gender. No matter that this issue may affect less than .00001% of students, invites all kinds of mischief, and offers no privacy protections to female students, who under the administration’s view, must be forced to shower, change and share a restroom with boys who simply “feel” like using the women’s bathroom.
The administration based its edict not on the text of a statute, or a court decision, but on its own internal re-interpretation of Title IX, which forbids sex discrimination in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of federal financial aid. “Gender identity” or “gender expression” are found nowhere in any federal statute or Supreme Court case law, but Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department decided that transgender Americans are now protected by Title IX.
Like state officials in Texas, who refused to comply with Obama’s lawless executive orders shielding illegal immigrants from deportation, school administrators should ignore the letter. The administration (thankfully) has precious little time left, and odds are it will not start suing schools across the country before it starts packing its bags. So, the bathroom dispute will not likely amount to pot, pun intended.
The bigger issue is that the Obama administration is again ignoring settled law – who is covered by Title IX – and forcing its radicalized views on the nation through executive power, rather than going through the proper channel, Congress. Obama’s near daily abuse of executive power entices millions of Americans to look for a politician who promises the same ugly, executive power in service of their priorities. Hence, Donald Trump.
Trump has promised all manner of dictatorial proposals: to build a wall across the southern border and have Mexico pay for it; deport millions of illegal immigrants; stick it to China and Mexico; rip up some of the most effective global trade and security pacts; quit NATO; punish companies that send jobs or move their headquarters overseas; and force the military to commit war crimes by murdering the families of terrorists. Does anyone think Trump would get Congress to approve any of this madness? Of course not. But this slide toward despotism didn’t arise in a vacuum.
Trump is the inevitable result of a country that is sick of being forced to accept policies to which it never consented. Obama’s executive power fostered the radical change in our nation’s laws on sexual “rights”; the radical reorganization of our health care sector; the influx of millions of illegal immigrants; and the EPA’s war on carbon-based energy producers who employ millions of Americans. Trump saw the frustration, anger and desire for retribution and offered the most appropriate response: himself.
That Trump outwitted and outlasted more experienced politicians is not entirely due to his persona, but is more a byproduct of a population that has truly had it, and is looking for someone who will reverse the Obama legacy, by any means necessary, as fast as possible. Thus, Obama’s lawlessness has made Trump’s appealing, and the rule of law is ever closer to irrelevance.
In the end, perhaps the greatest legacy of America’s first law professor president is the lawlessness of the man whose rise he empowered and whose ascension to the Oval Office he has made possible.