Constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School has proposed an alliance among conservative “red” states to engage in counter-boycotts against any liberal “blue” state, such as California, that boycotts first.
The proposal is a response to efforts by blue states to ban state-funded travel to red states that enact conservative laws on issues such as transgender bathrooms in school, biological men participating in women’s sports, and restrictions on abortion.
California, for example, currently bans state-funded travel to 22 states. While such bans are difficult to enforce — indeed. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) of California recently violated his state’s ban on travel to Idaho — they do have an effect, because they can coerce private companies into following the blue states’ lead. Red states are then forced to obey the whims of corporations — and not the democratic will of their own voters — in making their laws more liberal than they otherwise would have been.
Turley argued in an op-ed in The Hill on Aug. 6 that blue-state boycotts are offensive to the basic principle of federalism in the Constitution, and that they prevent states from finding compromises on social issues:
In a system based on federalism principles, we embraced the model of allowing each state to reach its own conclusions on divisive questions. The result can be consensus around moderate positions that escape both parties, which often are driven by the extremes on issues like abortion. … When states try to coerce other states to yield to their demands on such issues, they hinder state experimentation and expression.
In response, Turley proposes a red-state alliance, based on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its Article V, which provides that an attack on any one member shall be interpreted as an attack on all, triggering a collective response:
While this would ideally be an agreement by all states, red states should pass legislation barring state business or travel with any state that engages in boycotts. The key would be that the agreement must stand on principle, allow no exceptions, and trigger immediate reciprocity: A travel ban on, say, Nebraska would result in a reciprocal ban not just from Nebraska but from every state in the alliance.
In this way, when a state like California targets a state like Utah, it will shoot itself with roughly half of the country. Eventually the administrative and competitive costs of such measures would become prohibitive.
Read Turley’s full article here.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.