Louisiana Republicans fail to override governor’s veto on bill banning biological males from women’s sports
Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
- The Louisiana House of Representatives failed Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.
- Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said the bill is “a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana.”
- South Dakota faced a similar situation in March when South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem did not sign H.B. 1217, a bill banning biological males from women’s sports, after the state legislature rejected her suggested changes.
The Louisiana House of Representatives failed Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.
Louisiana’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would have prohibited biological males from participating in female intercollegiate, interscholastic, or intramural athletic sports that receive state funding.
The state House voted 68-30 Wednesday on the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, failing to overturn Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto by just two votes of the 70 needed. It was the state’s first-ever veto override session, the Advocate reported, intended to override Edward’s veto of both the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act and a bill allowing the concealed carry of guns without a permit.
The bill had originally passed the state Senate 29-6 and the state House 78-19.
Democratic Louisiana state Sen. Katrina Jackson explained in a Wednesday evening press release that she did not vote to override the veto because of a technicality she had not previously noticed when supporting the bill. The bill did not restrict transgender females from male sports, Jackson said.
“The current LHSAA policy is more restrictive and allowing this bill to move forward would have undermined current rules,” Democrats Jackson, Regina Barrow, Travis Johnson, Chad Brown, Mack Cormier, and Pat Moore, said in a joint statement. Jackson did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation for clarification of her remarks.
Edwards vetoed the bill in late June, calling it “a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana.”
The gun bill had failed to get the needed votes for an override in the Louisiana state Senate, according to the Advocate, though the Senate successfully voted Tuesday to override Edward’s veto on the transgender bill.
Louisiana has only seen two successful overrides in the history of the state: one in 1991 when lawmakers overrode former Republican Gov. Buddy Roemer’s veto of a bill penalizing doctors for performing abortions, and one in 1993 when lawmakers overrode former Democratic Gov. Edwin Edwards’ veto of the attorney general’s annual budget. Those vetoes occurred during a a regular lawmaking session, rather than a veto override session focused on overturning the governor’s veto.
South Dakota faced a similar situation in March when South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem failed to sign H.B. 1217, a bill banning biological males from women’s sports, after the state legislature voted to reject her suggested changes.
The state’s House rejected Noem’s style and form veto in March, sending the bill back to Noem, who returned the bill to the House the same day with a failure to certify, the Rapid City Journal reported. The House vote to override Noem’s action, counting it as a veto, failed 45-24.
The governor, who has come under heavy fire from conservatives for failing to sign the bill, repeatedly insisted to lawmakers that her decision to return the bill to the House with a failure to certify did not equate to a veto.
Noem said the bill would subject South Dakota to lawsuits the state could not win and said she seeks to “protect girls” through other measures, including two executive orders: one to “protect fairness in K-12 athletics” and another to “do so in college athletics.”
Tucker Carlson and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem debate her decision to send a bill to ban biological men from playing girls sports back to the state legislature:
TUCKER: "You caved to the NCAA."
GOV. NOEM: "Im not interested in picking a fight [in court] that we can’t win" pic.twitter.com/rgWAUIUcCh
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 23, 2021
The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported that the governor was wavering in her support for the legislation due to pressure from various interest groups in South Dakota.
Noem said March 8 that she was “excited” to sign the legislation, but later cited concerns over style-and-form revisions and the risk of litigation if the law were challenged in court.
She has insisted that she did not cave to pressure from groups like the NCAA, which later publicly warned in April that it would pull out of states that do not allow transgender students to participate in college sports.