By FRC's Joshua Arnold
"There's an old saying. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If neither the facts or law are on your side, pound the table." So Adam Schiff summarized a quip that has been evolving for at least a century. And so the Democrats did in the Ohio State House when Ohio State Representative Jena Powell proposed an amendment to protect women's sports. It's hard to believe this ruckus took place in what is supposed to be the deliberative, rulemaking body for the state of Ohio. Where do they think they are? A zoo? A construction site? A daycare? It's almost (almost) maddening enough to make me thankful unelected bureaucrats do most of America's legislating.
As State Rep. Powell began, "across our country, female athletes are currently losing scholarships, opportunities, medals, and training opportunities," Democrats began banging on desks. One man repeatedly screamed, "point of order." Powell courageously pushed through to offer the amendment despite Democrats' rude interjections. The amendment succeeded in a 54-40 vote, and the Ohio House voted 57-36 to pass Senate Bill 187 through to the Senate.
"In the two and a half years that I've been in the legislature, that was probably one of the worst outcries that we've seen. It's very rare to have something like that on the Ohio House floor," Powell said. "I can't speak for the Democrats, but I know many of the Republicans thought it was completely out of turn."
Since pre-colonial times, deliberative bodies like the Ohio House have followed basic procedures that ensure everyone gets a turn to speak. "When the Democrats speak and we disagree with them, we allow them to speak, and then you have the ability to do rebuttal on the floor. Instead, he had a childish outburst and continued doing so until the speaker cut him off," said Powell.
Powell surmised "the Left gets frustrated" and so they "speak out in ways that are very inappropriate." Even where they are dominant, it seems the Left gets frustrated by the mere fact that their opponents have freedom of speech. That's why, through controlling definitions, censoring speech platforms, and cancelling individuals, the Left is trying to vigorously curtail conservatives' freedom of speech.
It's sad that legislators are so imprisoned by a false ideology that they cannot endure a brief description of reality. And it's sad that so many grown Americans lack the self-control to listen to an opposing point of view with civility and respect.
On the other hand, it's encouraging to see states maintain momentum in protecting women's sports. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia have all passed legislation protecting women's sports, and another 30 states had legislation protecting women's sports introduced in 2021. At first, the NCAA threatened to punish states that protected women's sports by siting tournaments and championships elsewhere. But the NCAA's threatened boycott fell apart, simply because too many states have passed women's sports legislation for them to enforce it.
The Ohio Senate will likely pass the bill to save women's sports, but Republican Governor Mike DeWine seems opposed. Powell said, "Governor DeWine's response is from an individual who's scared of the woke Left." Woke corporations like the NCAA have employed the same tactics against other governors in an attempt to impose the transgender ideology, but state legislators have shown they are willing to override those vetoes. If Governor DeWine vetoes this commonsense bill and the Ohio legislature overrides his veto, Powell said, "it wouldn't be the first time."