Hutchinson on Transgender Bill: Republicans Who Fear the Future Are Misusing the ‘Instrument of the Law’

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” accused Republicans of misusing the “instrument of the law” by passing the transgender bills and overriding his veto shortly thereafter.

Anchor Chuck Todd said, “This was the third bill targeting transgender youth in some form and the issue in some form that passed the legislature. Did you veto this third bill because of the specifics of the bill, or how much of it was enough already with these bills that seem to be in search of a problem that didn’t exist?”

Hutchinson said, “Each bill has to stand on its own. I signed two that I thought made sense. One was girls in sports, trying to protect women’s sports. The other one was supporting medical conscience, that doctors can claim a conscience reason if they want to deny a particular procedure, but they have to do emergency care. So those are two bills that I signed. The third one was not well done. It did not protect the youth. It interfered with the government getting into the lives of transgender youth as well as their parents and the decisions that doctors make. To me, it’s about compassion. But it is also about having the laws make sense and a limited role of government. That’s the case that I made in The Washington Post column that, as republicans, we need to get back and ask the question, is this the appropriate role of government? Are we restraining ourselves?”

Todd said, “Why do you think there’s so much focus only a month after some members of the legislature among issues, you tell me, is this really bubbling up in Arkansas schools?”

Hutchinson said, “Well, it’s not, but the fear is about the future, and the fear is, also, that we’re losing our culture. The case I make, though, is just because you want to keep things as they have been. Perhaps, you don’t need to use the instrument of the law. You don’t need to use the state to accomplish that purpose in every instance. There is the church. There is society. There is your community, and that’s where the culture is impacted or reflected in the future. So again, there’s too much. As a Republican Party, it’s the principles of limited government, and it’s pushing freedom and choice in the free market. That’s what the party is about. We’ve got to apply those principles even when it comes to the social war.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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