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Florida Joins Other States in Demanding Fairness for Female Athletes

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A Florida House committee recently passed a bill called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. As originally reported by The Associated Press, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act:

“would require that anyone participating in girls and women’s sports at the K-12 and college level be biologically eligible to do so. If challenged, they would have to get confirmation from a health care provider that they are female. That could include a doctor examining their genitals.”

Florida is not alone. As a matter of fact, many other states have recently proposed laws banning transgender student-athletes from competing in the categories that they identify. For example, the North Dakota legislature passed a bill that would restrict competitors to biological gender categories. Other states have proposed similar laws, including Mississippi (“Mississippi Fairness Act”), Tennessee, and Utah. As reported by NPR:

This year, state legislators have introduced 35 bills restricting transgender girls and women — that is, girls and women who were not assigned as female at birth — from playing on girls’ and women’s sports teams, according to LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom for All Americans.

There are many compelling reasons to support such bills. For example, Republican Rep. Kaylee Tuck, who sponsored the Florida bill, stated, “The act is pro-women and pro-girls and only acknowledges the biological differences between men and women.” As reported in Breitbart, North Dakota Rep. Kathy Skroch was quoted as saying, “This is about girls competing with girls, ensuring equal opportunity and keeping a level playing field in girls’ sports.” Skroch further noted that the bill would assure “50 years of progress and protecting women against discrimination.”

There are many instances where female student-athletes have been unfairly forced to compete against biological boys/men who identified as girls/women. For example, Selina Soule, a track star at Bloomfield High School in Connecticut, “failed to qualify for regionals in the 55-meter run because two spots were taken by biological boys who identified as girls and who ran faster.” Tuck cited to another example involving Allyson Felix, the only woman to win six track and field gold medals in the Olympics. As reported by The Associated Press, citing Tuck:

“Allyson Felix is the fastest woman in the world… but yet the personal best in the 400 meters can be beaten by hundreds of high school boys. If we allow biological males to compete in athletic events against biological females, we may never see another Allyson Felix again.”

Additional examples can be found here, here, and here.

While there are many reasons to enact such bills, the enforceability/legality of such bills is still up in the air for several reasons. First, in January of this year, President Biden issued an executive order where he, in essence, threatened to “take federal education funds away from any state that refuses to allow transgender athletes to compete in whatever category they feel like choosing.”

Moreover, in Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court held that “Title VII’s prohibition against “sex discrimination” includes a prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, many schools that receive federal financial assistance were placed in a difficult position in light of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibits sex discrimination. The theory was that if “sex” under Title VII included sexual orientation and gender identity, the same definition could apply under Title IX. This specific issue has not yet been addressed/resolved by the Supreme Court.

Finally, the fate of the Equality Act, which recently passed the House of Representatives, has yet to be determined in the Senate. Given the current make-up of the Senate, passage of the bill is highly unlikely if Republicans mount a filibuster. The problem for Republicans is that Democrats could very well try to eliminate or reform the filibuster in order to pass this bill (Democrats will likely use the same tactic with respect to H.R. 1, the For the People Act). Assuming that Democrats do so (which would be very risky politically), the Equality Act could very well pass in the Senate and subsequently become law.

There is very little doubt that bills such as those in Florida and other states will face legal challenges. As reported by NPR, “The first state transgender sports law, passed in Idaho last year, was later blocked by a federal judge who argued, in part, that the state had ‘not identified a legitimate interest served by the Act.’”

Given the position of the current administration, Biden’s executive order, the Bostock decision, and the possible passage of the Equality Act (which Republicans and some Democrats will hopefully vote against in its current form), bills of this nature will ultimately face legal scrutiny. Time will tell whether or not they can survive such legal challenges.

Mr. Hakim is a political writer and commentator and an attorney.  His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Greatness, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker and other online publications. 

https://thoughtfullyconservative.wordpress.com

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Education

Make Universities Accountable for Predatory Student Loan Abuse

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The Biden administration is still talking about delivering on the President’s promise to relieve student loan debt for many Americans. There is continuing discussion on how much debt should be forgiven, how to pay for it, and whether it is fair to all those who have diligently and painfully worked to already pay off their own student loans. After all, if you’re going to eliminate student debt to buy votes, why just limit it to student debt?

Unfortunately for Biden, according to numerous sources including National Review, the executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt. Even Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that “the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.” The Department of Education came to the same verdict, determining that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Of course, even if he had the authority, forgiving student debt doesn’t make the debt go away. Reality has a way of breaking into such “freeloading” dreams. It’s pay me now, or somebody else pay me later. But why should some future taxpayer pay off anyone else’s student debt?

Whatever happened to wise warnings of “student beware.” When you get an education and agree to pay the tuition, you ought to realize that you must at some point pay for that education. You signed on the bottom line. Face your real-world responsibilities. Hopefully, you picked a degree major that will ensure a career capable of paying off your loans. Students clearly have some responsibility, but what about the universities that took advantage of the money coming from those loans?

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: This is a coordinated attack on the family

After all, there is ample evidence that student tuitions exploded far faster than inflation when government funds became readily available for student loans. Complaints of excessive tuition increases by students trapped in their programs tended to be met with a less than caring response—pound sand!

Since 2008, the tuition cost or a four-year college degree has increased nearly 25%. In that same period, student debt has doubled, increasing by 107%. 2015 study found that a dollar of subsidized student loans results in a published tuition increase of 58 cents at a typical university, An NBER paper suggests that changes to federal student loans are more than sufficient to explain tuition increases at private nonprofit colleges. And a 2014 study found that for-profit colleges eligible for federal student aid charged tuition 78% higher than that of similar but aid-ineligible institutions.

In short, there is no doubt that tuition was rising faster than the inflation level. Evidence has been clear for decades. In 1987, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett argued that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuition, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Bennett pointed out in 1987 that federal student aid had risen 57 percent since 1980, while inflation had been 26 percent. A 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office brought the numbers up to date: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” What is the lesson? The more federal aid to students is available colleges raise tuition more. Salaries rise and bureaucracies expand. There are more courses, more dorms, dining halls, lavish recreational centers, and more money for endowments.

Far too many students find that once they begin their education, their schools raise the tuition at such a high rate that their debt explodes. The university builds their endowment, and the “trapped” student is compelled to finish what they started at a cost they did not expect to have to pay. In such a situation, should not the university be responsible for any increased cost above the increase in cost of living during the same time? It’s time for universities to take responsibility for their share of student debt.

The universities that benefited from these loans should have a part in footing the bill. That means universities that raked in millions to inflate endowments should be holding the bag for those who can’t afford to pay their loans. With universities holding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-free endowments, any government program to relieve student debt should be completely dependent on taxing those university endowments.

It’s time to counter the Democrats’ vote-buying scheme by making lasting changes to the student loan process. That means putting universities on the hook for their predatory behavior. That will go much further than a temporary payoff that does nothing to solve what is causing the problem.

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News

Tucker: Why are they so angry?

There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more.

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Tucker gives an extended list of several people who were arrested or had their homes raided, without explanation, for no crime. Highlights include:

“Why have a political debate when you can just arrest people who disagree with you? And that has happened, far below the media radar since the day Joe Biden was elected, and tonight we want to show you … a litany, a list of Americans who have been arrested, detained by federal law enforcement on the orders of the Biden administration, not because they committed recognizable crimes but because they disagreed with the political aims of the Biden administration.”

“Ooh, Trumps a fascist, remember that? Did Trump’s DOJ raid the homes of a lot of journalists who embarrassed his children? No, you don’t remember that, because it didn’t happen. But Joe Biden’s justice department has done that, and then they kept going.”

“We don’t arrest people for ignoring congressional subpoenas, especially when they cite executive privilege, a principal that has a long history in American history, so no, we’ve never done that, but we can do it now because it was ‘an insurrection’, an insurrection that wasn’t armed, wasn’t planned, it didn’t actually insurrect anything, but it was still an insurrection. Now you’re beginning to see why it’s been so important from the very first day for the media to describe what happened on January 6 not as a riot, but as an insurrection, because if it’s an insurrection, they can violate your civil rights.”

“So, a decade ago the Obama administration was caught sending automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels and Congress wanted to know more about this. Eric Holder, then the attorney general, had a key role in this, ‘operation fast and furious’, you may remember it. So, they subpoena’d him, and he ignored the subpoena, and the media applauded, he was taking a noble position. But when Steve Bannon or Peter Navarro tried to do something like that, they went to jail. Again, we had this exact same thing happen in public ten years ago. A federal judge ruled that Holder’s privilege claim was not legitimate, and he was still never arrested, but the rules have changed. Why is that?”

“There’s no Constitutional requirement to have respect for anybody in the US government. In fact, in a free country you are encouraged to disagree. You are a citizen, you have that inherent right. But, no more. The media think you should be sent to jail if you show disrespect, and so of course, with no media to push back against unconstitutional overreach, the justice department kept going.”

Watch the video below and feel free to exercise your right to free speech in the comments.

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