NC HB2: What Would The Founders Do?

What’s the solution to NC’s broken bathroom law? Just look to the Founders.  1200 words here. Summary below.

I.  Substance – way forward is clear:

For bathrooms, repeal birth certificate rule – HB2 is indefensibly wrong on Texas wrestler; replace with old law – Jim Martin.

For everything else, local option.

II.  Procedure is hang-up – Rs want to limit city power on local option

Plebiscites = The plural of referendum

Founders rejected for U.S. Constitution: Federalist Paper 49.

“Minorities fare worse in plebiscites than before legislatures.” That’s the point behind the Ds’ exaggerated and inaccurate rhetoric about “rights.”

Sunsets

Several in U.S. Constitution – obscure, but there.

Proxy for plebiscite. Old council’s NDO would expire shortly after the new council takes office.  Not “NDO: Yes or No?”  It’s “Vote for Candidate X,” or “Vote against Candidate Y.”

Supermajorities

Key feature of Constitution – Founders rely heavily on supermajorities. ERA needed ¾ of states and failed.

Charlotte ordinance passed 7 to 4. That’s not 2/3, much less ¾.

III. Options to replace Plebiscites

Combine sunsets and supermajorities with new penalties, etc.

Negotiable: What added penalties for bathroom crimes, term of sunset (how soon after election?), fraction of supermajority (60 percent, like General Assembly veto?), whether the supermajority provision itself would sunset after a number of years.

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See later post for Bible material cut by thehill.com

UPDATE 9 March:  Just noticed the editor at thehill.com cut the bolded paragraph, but I stand by it:

A plebiscite might showcase animosity toward transgender folks – demonization, rather than dignity. Even gay folks worry they might get targeted again, as they were with North Carolina’s Amendment One gay marriage plebiscite. While some folks like to watch fights, many of us would like less ugliness in politics.

For privacy, too, plebiscites are problematic.  Many parents worry that their children have little privacy from the media and modern culture generally.  A high-pitched media plebiscite campaign about transgender issues is not on those parents’ wish list.

It’s not just parents.  Lots of ordinary citizens have heard enough about HB2. In North Carolina, we could stand to turn the volume down. Plebiscites might turn it up.

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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