A Texas congressman is fighting back against the Obama’s administration’s unilateral amending of the U.S. Civil Rights Act in the area of sex discrimination, calling the administration’s actions unconstitutional and a gross misrepresentation of what the law intended.
In December 2014, then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department would apply the protections against sex discrimination in Title IX of the Civil Rights Act to cases of alleged sex discrimination over “gender identity” as well.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the government was mandating that all public schools and federal buildings accommodate people in restrooms and locker rooms based on their expressed gender identity.
Federally funded health programs are also in play, and health-care professionals and insurers are now subject to liability for refusing to perform or cover gender reassignment procedures.
Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, is fighting back against the administration’s actions, both in opposition to the changes Obama is making to the law and especially the manner by which the changes are happening.
“They don’t have that authority,” said Olson, who says the Constitution is clear about how laws are to be created or amended in the U.S.
“Article I is very clear. It has ten clear words it starts with. ‘All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress.’ It’s clear. The administration’s actions take away the power of Congress and put that in the White House. That’s wrong. That’s against the Constitution. That’s why I introduced H.R. 5812,” Olson told WND and Radio America.
The bill, also known as the Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2016, focuses on two key areas: restoring lawmaking and law-amending power to the legislative branch and opposing the Obama administration’s policy content as well.
While providing background information and supporting evidence for the bill, H.R. 5812 lays out these objectives:
The purposes of this Act are–
(1) to prevent the executive branch from unilaterally
rewriting Federal civil rights laws by enacting or implementing
any policy or undertaking any enforcement action that is based
on construing the term “sex” or “gender” to mean “gender
(2) to ensure that gender identity is not treated as a
protected class in Federal law or policy without the
affirmative approval of the people’s representatives in
Olson said he’s gotten quite a bit of heat from LGBT activists and others who support their agenda. He flatly rejects their allegations that this bill stems from his hatred of “gays” or transgenders.
“Liberals are saying, ‘Pete’s attacking these people.’ That’s a bunch of hooey. This is all about our Constitution, protecting our Constitution, taking that oath I spoke and making that action,” he said. “The administration does not have the power to redefine sex in federal civil law. They did that and this tries to stop it.”
Olson said it’s perfectly obvious that lawmakers decades ago did not intend for transgenders using restrooms and showers counter to their biological sex.
“It just means man or woman. What they’re doing is trying to expand that sex is actually sexual stereotype, gender identification, the termination of a pregnancy. That is not what was in the law that was passed,” said Olson.
While Olson is appalled by the administration’s actions, he says it’s not surprising given Obama’s track record.
“It’s very consistent with President Obama’s actions the whole time he’s been president. Transgender bathrooms is another continuation of laws coming from the White House. His executive amnesty is another example of laws coming from the White House. Congress has to assert its authority for the Constitution and take that back to Congress. That’s exactly what H.R. 5812 does,” said Olson.
He says if Obama wants to change the law, he and his allies should ask Congress to act.
“If you want this to happen, work with us. We will pass law,” he said.
Does that mean Olson would support amending the Title IX to expand the definition of sex through the legislative process?
“No. My vote will be heck no. But I want to have that vote. That is our job. Our job is to actually pass laws,” said Olson. “Have an up or down vote. I’ll vote that thing down because I think it’s against the Constitution. But I want that vote, not something coming from the White House,” said Olson.
Olson says time is of the essence to move on this bill since Congress will not be in session long this fall and the Obama directives have been in place for months. He says he hasn’t heard a word from GOP leaders about his bill, but he’s fine with that.
“They have not said anything, but that’s a good thing. If it’s bad, they’ll kind of push you back. They seem to be saying, ‘Pete, it’s your ball. Run with it. If you get enough votes – 218 – then we can talk about bringing it up on the floor,” said Olson.
“My job right now is to go, go, go get people on board, get 218 so leadership can bring it up. Let’s vote on it and put a brake on the White House,” said Olson.