September 1, 2017 Radio Commentary

A Pardon, A Directive, A N.J. School Law

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, September 1, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

After former Sheriff of Arizona, Joe Arpaio, was pardoned, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund said requiring U.S. officers to enforce immigration law puts them at “risk of being found guilty of significant legal violations.”  So, how do U.S. law enforcement officers violate the law by enforcing immigration law?

That was the issue in December 2011 when a U.S. District Judge ordered Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies to stop detaining Latino drivers suspected of being illegal aliens.  After continuing his strategy another 18 months, he was charged with civil contempt, found guilty almost six years later, on July 31st this year, and at age 85, Sheriff Arpaio faced six months in jail.  Sentencing that was scheduled for October 5th became a moot point August 25th, when President Trump pardoned him.

Also on August 25th, President Trump issued a directive to ban transgender individuals from military service.  Section 1 of his order explains how the previous president completely reversed military policy in June 2016 to allow transgender individuals to join and serve openly in the military, where they would receive medical treatment of their choice, including sex-reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, unlimited procedures, and medication at tax-payer expense.For those already enlisted in the service, military-funded sex reassignment surgery has been canceled, unless interrupting treatment in progress would be harmful to the patient.  Full implementation of the ban is set for 2018, when the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Homeland Security must provide a plan that (a) upholds military effectiveness and deadly force, (b) works within the budget, (c) adheres to law, and (d) explains the status of transgender personnel already in the military.

On June 29th New Jersey passed a bill to create a “safe, inclusive and accepting school environment for transgender students.”  It became law when Governor Christie signed it July 21st.  It, also, expanded into schools New Jersey’s 2006 law that gave gender identity and gender expression civil rights protection in employment, housing and public accommodations.  Now, schools must affirm, promote and accommodate previously illegal sexual behavior.

The new law affects restrooms and locker rooms, and authorizes students – male or female – to participate in sports, based on their daily preferred identity.  Also, school libraries, counselors, and nurses must accommodate the change and distribute gender fluid pamphlets and material.  Of course, it’s all confidential; parents won’t be informed.

In Georgia the 2017 public accommodations bill didn’t pass, but it’s still alive for 2018.  ForGeorgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.