Attorney General Marty Jackley signs his name to another grandstanding, losing lawsuit. Today he announces he has tied our state to the stone cast in federal court by Nebraska and eight other states against the Obama Administration’s guidance to schools on transgender student access to school facilities.
As Attorney General it was and remains my hope that our country and state lawmakers can find a solution to the transgender bathroom concerns. However, the President’s mandate or directive that children of opposite sex must be required to share locker rooms and bathrooms under the threat of lawsuit and withholding of education funding is a solution that goes beyond his authority. I am therefore joining other Attorneys General in the Nebraska litigation to clarify that federal law cannot mandate that children of opposite sex be required to share locker rooms and bathrooms [Attorney General Marty Jackley, press release, 2016.07.08].
Notice that A.G. Jackley perpetuates the convenient false binary language his Republican friends in the Legislature use to deny the legitimacy of transgender identity. He declares that the suit is about preventing “children of the opposite sex” from sharing locker rooms and bathrooms. Not gender, but sex, biological sex, defined by whatever standards Jackley and his counterparts in the suit want to impose on transgender kids to deny them their legitimate claim to an identity they want to practice.
The Nebraska lawsuit comes in tandem with a separate 13-state court challenge led by Texas against the Obama Administration’s anti-discrimination effort.
A.G. Jackley says, “There is no cost for South Dakota to join these proceedings.” Perhaps no fiscal cost—he collects his $112,096.28 a year whether he signs onto this brief or puts his feet up on his desk and calls 2018 campaign donors all day. But in the time it took Jackley to review the case Nebraska wants to make and write up this press release, how many more receipts from Scott Westerhuis’s GEAR UP scam or bank statements and wire transfers from Joop Bollen’s EB-5 affairs could our top cop have studied? How many previous rulings could he have looked up and added to the file he’s using to crush the payday lenders’ specious effort to deny 526,903 South Dakotans the chance to vote on Initiated Measure 21?
Along with opportunity cost to prosecute real crimes and fight pressing legal battles for South Dakotans, don’t forget the moral cost of being wrong, dead wrong, and fighting for discrimination over decency. Remember, neighbors, this man wants to be our next Governor.