“States rights!” “Federal laws!”
Let me see if I’ve got this straight.
Wednesday the President overturned a policy from the Obama administration that allowed transgender students to use the restroom for their gender orientation. The president said this is a states’ rights issue… In other words policies that should be set by the state.
Ignoring a little thing like Title IX. That would be a federal law.
Thursday–one day later–the president’s Press Secretary Melissa McCarthy–er–Sean Spicer said to expect to see greater enforcement of Federal marijuana laws, especially in states who have legalized recreational pot.
This despite the fact that voters in multiple states nationwide have passed legislation approving recreational marijuana. And have seen an influx of tax dollars as a result of it.
Spicer compared marijuana use to the opioid addiction problem. You know, addiction to drugs like oxycodone for OxyContin.
It's important to note here that the opioids he's talking about are Schedule II drugs according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. That means doctors can prescribe them. For some people the drugs are highly addictive.
Marijuana, by contrast, is a Schedule I drug. Doctors can't prescribe it according to federal law.
But the recreational legalization is taking a page from alcohol licensing, with strict laws in place and sales only to those 21 and over.
(I live in a state where marijuana is legal, according to state law. I don't partake. But I seen the economic benefits it offered us.)
Meanwhile, the policy swap allowing states to prevent transgender students from using an appropriate bathroom is another in a series of steps to erode body autonomy.
Congressional Republicans are talking about ways to limit access to abortion. At the state level, laws restricting a woman's right to choice, Even in cases of rape or incest, are making their way towards law (or are law now).
Even though abortion was declared legal by the Supreme Court decades ago.
So what is it?
Look, I'm fine if you want to go all federal law and order on us. I'm fine if you want to let federal laws be the policy nationwide and overturn state laws that violate that federal legislation.
(With this in mind I'm fully expecting the feds to crack down on Arizona's new first amendment violation–er, law–of arresting and confiscating property of protesters who happen to be at a protest that turns violent)
But to claim states’ rights for some issues and then proclaim the superiority of federal law for others is the epitome of hypocrisy.
Especially when those rights only seem to be asserted in cases that inordinately impact women or the LGBTQ Community, or that support progressive causes.
And when the laws only seem to be asserted in cases that deal with “morals” that the religious right agrees with.
When you do that, it looks suspiciously like your privileging some people and ostracizing others.