David French deals too gently, for my tastes, with the absurd histrionics of the New York Times and now the Washington Post on the meaning of “sex” in Title IX. (It’s apparent to me now that our elites distinguish wicked, troglodyte Republican science denial from shiny, trendy, bien pensant Democrat/progressive science denial.)
But I’m taking a second look at what the Administration is doing.
Here’s the very legitimate beef with the 1/19/17 status quo:
In April 2014, the Obama administration quietly expanded the definition — without an act of Congress or even a regulatory rulemaking process. In a document called “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence” it stated that “Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.”
Empowered by this new definition, the Obama administration issued extraordinarily aggressive mandates to schools across the nation, requiring that schools use a transgender student’s chosen pronouns and that they open bathrooms, locker rooms, overnight accommodations, and even some sports teams to students based not on their biological sex but their chosen gender identity.
Again, this was done without an act of Congress and without even a regulatory rulemaking process ….
My question: How, precisely, does that differ procedurally from the Trump administration’s “formal guidance”?
The administration may issue formal guidance establishing a biological definition of sex. Specifically, the administration may define sex to mean “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”
This isn’t an accusation of equivalence. Perhaps there is a principled difference between “formal guidance” (whatever that means) and Obama’s “quietly expanded”? The New York Times, when it was finished with sobs of anguish, made it sound as if this is a definition the Administration wants to see in new regulations, which would be a permissible approach.
I’m 100% in favor of undoing Obama’s lawless affrontery. I’m 99.9% in favor of Executive branch departments narrowly construing “sex” for purposes of Title IX enforcement policy until Congress or the courts expand the definition. I’m 99.9% certain that’s what Congress meant in enacting Title IX.
But let’s stop abusing Executive power.
* * * * *
American culture is probably the least Christian culture that we’ve ever had, because it’s so materialistic and it’s so full of lies. The whole advertising world is just intertwined with lies, appealing to the worst instincts we have. The problem is, people have been treated as consumers for so long they don’t know any other way to live.
The late Eugene Peterson on PBS, via his New York Times obituary