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Republican Resistance Pitches Noem Special Session on Transgender Athletes in Trash Can

No need to keep buying Lee Schoenbeck drinks: the Senate President Pro-Tem’s resistance to rehashing a transgender athlete ban has forced bully-Governor Kristi Noem to flip-flop again. She said she would call a Special Session to get the Legislature to pass a satisfactory bill dealing with what she considers the pressing crisis of transgender females trying to play on schools’ female sports teams, but now she’s chickening out, since she lacks the political skill to get the Legislature behind her after the mess she made in March:

The Republican governor’s office held a conference call Wednesday with legislative leaders to discuss summoning them back to Pierre for a special session, which would also include discussions on how to spend over $1 billion that is flowing into the state from a federal COVID-19 rescue package and changes to a voter-passed medical marijuana bill set to go into effect July 1. She pitched tackling a ban on transgender girls and women from sports leagues that match their gender identity in two bills, addressing collegiate sports and high school sports separately.

However, Republican legislative leaders like House Speaker Spencer Gosch said transgender athletes won’t be addressed this year, pointing out the move would die in the Senate. Gosch supported a bill that was passed by the Legislature last month, but it died after Noem vetoed parts of it [Stephen Groves, “Noem Pitches Transgender Sports Ban; Lawmakers Say Not Now,” AP, 2021.04.08].

Noem will thus have to stick with her “temporary” executive “orders”… which most authorities are recognizing as illegal and ineffective:

School boards and administrators say they are in no hurry to implement Noem’s order.

“Really, in a nutshell, all we are going to tell our folks to do is stay the course of what we have right now,” said Rob Monson, the director of the School Administrators of South Dakota.

…Cynthia Mickelson, the board president for the Sioux Falls School District, said she would recommend waiting to act on Noem’s order until after the Legislature’s special session. She felt it didn’t make sense to adopt a policy that could be upended in a matter of months.

She said that after watching Monday’s developments, which started with the House rejecting Noem’s partial veto and culminated with the governor’s orders, she sent out a single word Tweet: “Nothingburger.”

…“The governor has no ability to create law. These don’t have the effect of law,” Republican House Speaker Spencer Gosch said of Noem’s orders. “This is just her sending out a letter saying I’d like you to do this.”

He added that Noem’s office has communicated an evolving stance on the issue and that a “lack of preparation on her part doesn’t create a sense of urgency” for lawmakers to act [Stephen Groves, “Schools Grapple with Governor’s Order on Transgender Sports,” AP, 2021.03.31].

Speaker Gosch’s assessment of Noem’s failure to plan emphasizes that Kristi Noem’s saving grace is the same as that of the loser-tyrant she clubs with at Mar-a-Lago: the only thing that keeps her from turning South Dakota into a completely oppressive regime is her incompetence.


  1. Nix 2021-04-09 08:31

    Won’t you all rise and put one hand over your heart and one over your mouth.
    Face the flag.
    Once again , it is with great pleasure
    I give you…..


  2. Donald Pay 2021-04-09 09:37

    I guess the circus atmosphere surrounding the issue in South Dakota gives people an out. Why is this even an issue that rises to state level nincompoops to solve? Let school districts, universities and SDAA figure it out. It’s as faked up a “controversy” as the idea that Trump won the 2020 election, and that got federal level nincompoops, including Dusty Johnson, to try to void the votes of Americans in order to prop up Putin’s choice for America’s leader. Sometimes the best policy is to just leave people who know what they are doing solve whatever non-problem is being hyped at the moment.

    I’ve been a supporter of girls sports since playing sandlot football and baseball with neighborhood girls on our neighborhood vacant lot. You know, we didn’t care if they were girls or trans or anything else. Anyone who showed up could play. That wasn’t true in South Dakota school athletics back then. If you had a vagina, your choice of athletic outlets was very slim. Back then Title IX didn’t exist, and even in semi-progressive Sioux Falls, girls sports were limited to gymnastics and tennis. I remember being able to pull in Iowa girls basketball with all its strange rules on our TV. This was the era of rooftop antennas and rampant sexism. Watching those Iowa games made me realize those girls were far better than I was. I wondered why South Dakota didn’t have girls sports. I was too young to vote, but the unfairness bothered me.

    Where were all those politicians back then? Well, I remember after Title IX passed, there was a lot of bitching that adding girls sports was going to be too expensive. Boys sports would have to be cut. Taxes would go up. Every imaginable whine you can imagine. There was legitimate concern about space. Years of sexism meant we built gyms around boys needs only. Of course, there were some on the Christian right who opposed girls athletics because they feared it may lead to lesbianism. Now these same folks prop themselves up as saviors of girls sports. Come on. It’s a big con.

  3. jake 2021-04-09 10:34

    Donald says it all so very well! Thanks Don. I would only add that my thoughts on the whole trans sports thing is it seems to be driven by fear and ego mostly. Fear on the part of parents that their offspring might be ‘out-done’ by a trans competing against THEIR little Susie (thus ego).

  4. bearcreekbat 2021-04-09 10:39

    Like Donald, I too recall the days when girls were pretty much excluded from high school sports. I am personally aware of one particular case that occured in the late 1970’s, to the best of my recollection. I haven’t been able to find any online news stories, or other internet links, to document it, but I was there and recall that it was reported in the local papers at the time, as it was an unusual case that triggered emotional responses by some salalcious members of the local religious right.

    Anyway, a young girl decided she wanted to go out for high school wrestling. At that time she was permitted to wrestle on the Newell high school team where she excelled in her weight class defeating many young boys. But a local preacher got wind of the situation and complained to the school board, which responded by prohibiting girls from participating on the wrestling team. No other high school sports were available for girls at that time.

    A young Black Hills Legal Services lawyer named Mary Ellen McEldowny took on the young girl’s case seeking an order to stop this overt sex discrimination and filed a civil rights action in the Meade County Circuit Court, the honorable Judge Scott Moses presiding. Judge Moses didn’t seem particularly supportive of permitting girls to wrestle boys. Nevertheless, perhaps fearing an wide reaching adverse decision on an appeal, the SD Athletics Association reluctantly offered to settle the case by adding a new sport, volleyball, for girls to the high school athletics program. This was a major step forward at the time that provided girls their first meaningful opportunity to participate in a high school sport, as before this controversy and lawsuit there were no sports for high school girls. Apparently, this huge step forward for all SD girls was sufficient to satisify the young Newell wrestler so she agreed to give up wrestling and settle the case so she and other girls could complete with other high schools playing volleyball.

  5. cibvet 2021-04-09 15:39

    In my high school years the only thing offered resembling a sport for girls was cheer leading and half court basketball during Physical ed.

  6. Mark Anderson 2021-04-09 16:01

    You know the coyote women did ok this year in a terrible year for sports, they actually won the second half against Oregon, never mind the first half. Next year they will cleanup again. Sports for women has always been promoted by liberals certainly not by conservatives, but The cons sure do like using womens support to push their agenda while claiming to “protect” girls another con win for them. Just ask the women playing sports, they don’t need protection. Its hard for the old boys like me, when I was in the fourth grade in Sioux Falls at Irving we won the city basketball championship undefeated, Irving was the smallest school, we had a Jewish center and were all downtown kids. We played our last game agains our mothers and our big scorer Lonnie Chedder cried because we lost, his mother had played at a big college in Iowa. So it goes. They tore down Irving a year or so ago and it was designed by South Dakotas best architect. What can one say.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-09 16:54

    Odd: the radical right wingers in the Legislature who would most like to revisit this issue are the same ones Noem alienated by vetoing their bill.

  8. Porter Lansing 2021-04-09 19:47

    Let the students decide. They’ll teach Noem and the legislature about tolerance. Guaranteed!

  9. Arlo Blundt 2021-04-09 22:13

    Well…they just won’t let Kristi be as dumb as she can be. It might be a sign that the Trump momentum is slowly, slowly loosing steam. But….the right wing so enjoys being outrageously nuts that its sure to take awhile.

  10. RST Tribal Member 2021-04-10 08:16

    One wonders if our America’s Governor is listening to her trump buddy from Florida who is a Congressional House Representative, as it looks like he was caught scouting girls high school sport events. She probably don’t want his kind accidentally chasing a transgender if he comes to South Dakota to campaign against our RINO in 2022…. best not to upset your trump buddies no matter what it takes.
    Again, I could be wrong and her Washington handlers just want her to create a 2022 campaign issue like other inbred Republican states. Fear and hate could be the campaign strategies in 2022.

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