October 5, 2022

Constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University School of Law 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-sponsored travel to red states that enact conservative laws on issues such as transgender bathrooms at school, biological males participating in women’s sports and abortion restrictions.

California, for example, currently bans state-sponsored travel in 22 states. While such bans are difficult to enforce — indeed. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) of California recently cracked down on his state’s ban on travel to Idaho — they’re actually working, because they can force private companies to follow the lead of blue states. Red states are then forced to obey the whims of corporations—rather than the democratic will of their voters—to make their laws more liberal than they would otherwise be.

Turley argued in an op-ed in The hill on August 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 the principles of federalism, we have adopted the model that allows each state to reach its own conclusions on divisive issues. The result can be consensus around moderate positions that elude both parties, often driven by extremes on issues like abortion. … When states try to force other states to yield to their demands on such matters, they inhibit 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 member will be interpreted as an attack on all, triggering a collective response:

While this would ideally be an agreement by all states, red states would have to pass legislation that would prohibit state business or travel with any state involved in a boycott. The key would be that the agreement must adhere to the principles, allow no exceptions, and trigger direct reciprocity: A travel ban on, say, Nebraska would result in a reciprocal ban not just from Nebraska but from every state in it alliance.

That way, when a state like California targets a state like Utah, it will shoot itself in the foot with about half the country. Eventually the administrative and competitive costs of such measures will become prohibitive.

Read Turley’s full article here.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and its host Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday nights from 7 p.m. until 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 US Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is the winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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