August 21, 2019

Michelle Obama Announces Post-White House Plans

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

First Lady is Adopting a New, Highly-Ideological Anti-Hunger Campaign with Left-Wing Activist Group

Jeff Stier of the National Center for Public Policy Research Says First Lady’s Planned Ad Campaign for Left-Wing Food Activist Group Will Divide Americans Rather Than Feed Hungry

Michelle Obama’s Partnership With Activist Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio Puts Minimum Wage and Organic Farming Issues Ahead of Fighting Hunger

New York, NY / Washington, D.C. – First Lady Michelle Obama this week gave a major clue to her post-White House approach to public service. She’s decided to partner with the far left-wing Food Policy Action Education Fund, a sister organization of Food Policy Action.

Politico reports Mrs. Obama “is featured in a commercial being unveiled [Wednesday] as part of a new, national anti-hunger campaign being launched by Food Policy Action Education Fund, a sister organization of Food Policy Action. The three-year campaign, dubbed ‘A Place at the Table,’ is backed by $300 million in donated media, including TV, digital and print. The campaign follows in the footsteps of the documentary ‘A Place at the Table,’ a documentary that FPA co-founder Tom Colicchio helped produce.”

Politico also reports the film was co-directed by Tom Colicchio’s wife, Lori Silverbush.

Willy Ritch, former communications director for Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a leading demagogue in the fight to politicize food, will manage the nationwide campaign.

The National Center for Public Policy Research’s director of Risk Analysis, Jeff Stier, laments the news, saying, “By partnering with a radically left-wing activist group, rather than an organization focused on feeding hungry people, the First Lady further politicizes an issue that should be above partisan politics.”

In fact, says Stier, “‘A Place at the Table’ is an ironically poor name for a campaign about an issue for which everyone who wants to feed hungry people should have a seat at the table.”

Stier points out the abundance of organizations which successfully put politics aside to bring people together in the fight against hunger.

According to Stier, “Ms. Obama would have been wise to highlight groups such as No Kid Hungry, sponsor of the Cooking Matters program, which teaches families how to ‘shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget,’ or any of the countless faith-based groups in which individuals from all backgrounds heroically come together daily to provide meals to people in need in their communities.”

Instead, says Stier, “The outgoing First Lady decided to partner with a divisive group and cloak it in a do-good feed-the-hungry campaign.”

Chef Tom Colicchio’s political action committee is known for creating the “Food Policy Action Scorecard,” which scores lawmakers on how liberal they vote on food issues.

Food Policy Action says the scorecard grades legislators on whether they “Promote policies that support healthy diets, reduce hunger at home and abroad, improve food access and affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers… and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production.'”

But in a National Review op-ed with food writer Julie Kelly in 2015, Stier wrote, “The implication is that members of Congress who don’t agree with Colicchio and his leftist cohort oppose healthy food and the reduction of hunger and are indifferent to degradation of the environment.”

Stier points out that “FPA supports big-government programs including mandatory GMO labeling, so-called ‘sustainable farming,’ raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour for most workers by 2020; all of which will increase the cost of food, hurting the hungry the most.”

On the scorecard, Democrat lawmakers usually score between 80% and 100%, while Republicans are usually rated in the 20% to 30% range.

Stier told the Washington Post in 2013 that “there’s a good reason for Republican lawmakers’ performance on the scorecard.” It does not, as FPA claims, “reflect the consensus of top food policy experts.’ Rather, it represents the narrow views of a select group of some of the nation’s most ideologically divisive activists.”

Stier says “While Americans should applaud Mrs. Obama for highlighting the issue of hunger, we should put aside her half-baked approach to partnering with ideologues to address the problem.”

“Instead, particularly on this issue” says Stier, “we should transcend politics and come together to feed those in need.”

Follow Jeff Stier on Twitter at @JeffaStier to be alerted to his future commentaries, publications and appearances relating to food issues.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by NationalCenter staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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Impending Announcement by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy on E-Cigarettes

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Impending Announcement by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy on E-Cigarettes Draws Statement by Jeff Stier of the National Center for Public Policy Research
New York, NY / Washington, DC – United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy is expected to make an announcement this morning regarding e-cigarettes.


Jeff Stier, director of the Risk Analysis Division at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a nationally-recognized authority on e-cigarette policy, is available to comment on today’s news.

As a leading conservative expert on public health policies, Stier’s views on the topic should be of particular interest as the Trump transition team considers key appointments at the Food and Drug Administration, as well as when the time comes to appoint a new Surgeon General.

In anticipation of these developments, Stier says, “If Surgeon General Murthy only addresses the serious risks of e-cigarette use by minors, something we all agree on, but fails to provide much-needed education about their benefits to adult smokers who would like to quit, he’ll have missed an important opportunity.”

Further, says Stier, “If the Surgeon General goes on to make policy recommendations based only on the risk part of the equation, without considering the benefits, he will have failed his fundamental obligation of improving public health. Without a deep and thorough analysis of the issue, the Surgeon General’s approach becomes little more than platitudes.”

Stier says, “The Surgeon General would have been wise to adopt the clear approach used by the Royal College of Physicians in its landmark report last year, by saying, ‘It’s very simple: adult cigarette smokers who switch to e-cigarettes dramatically reduce their risk, by using “nicotine without smoke.”‘”

Stier has applauded the Food and Drug Administration, as well as almost every state, for banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors. “Kids should not use any nicotine product, including e-cigarettes, or even zero-nicotine e-cigarettes,” he says.

But Stier believes that our public health authorities “have the capacity to distinguish between keeping these products out of the hands of minors, while at the same time making sure adult smokers recognize that e-cigarettes present a dramatically lower risk than cigarettes.”

“In fact,” says Stier, “Public Health England did just that, when it recommended e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to smoking when it published the most comprehensive government report on the topic to date.”

Stier is concerned that “if, in the name of public health, federal regulations inhibit much-needed innovation in the e-cigarette market, if those regulations limit marketing to adults, or prevent companies from selling flavored e-cigarettes which appeal to adult smokers, public health will actually suffer, as fewer adult smokers will be likely to switch from smoking.”

Stier has written frequently and widely about e-cigarettes for major publications, including USA Today (here and here), National Review and elsewhere.

Stier also has appeared on numerous television news outlets on the topic, on one calling e-cigarettes “a boon to public health.”

Stier has also testified on the topic before numerous state and city legislative and regulatory bodies, as well as at Food and Drug Administration meetings and the Office of Management and Budget at the White House.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter or @JeffAStier.

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New Black Central Station News Portal Launched

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Black News and Views Hub Intended to Increase Understanding between Racial Groups


Washington, D.C.
– The National Center for Public Policy Research announces the launch of a new “news portal” website dedicated to increasing understanding between minority and majority comities in the United States and eliminating unnecessary, often politically-inspired, divisiveness.

The news portal, “Black Central Station,” consists of constantly-updated news and opinion sources relating to about, or from members of the black community within the United States.

The news portal will publish information and opinions without regard to their viewpoint, as long as the views do not endorse violence, promote libel, or are otherwise illegal or immoral.

“Recognizing that race relations in the United States are thought by many to have become strikingly worse in the last few years, we intend to help improve that by improving understanding,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, which sponsors the website. “We see far too many instances in which people believe other people hold views that they simply do not hold, and resent them for it. One way out of this is to help everyone easily, efficiently and conveniently learn what their fellow Americans really are thinking.”

“In this post-election season, our nation seems more divided than it has in decades. We are seeing hate crimes against people of certain ethnicities and religions, and also against those who voted for a certain candidate. Two sides are demonizing each other and then responding defensively, with few finding middle ground,” said Jennifer Biddison, an editor for Black Central Station. “With Black Central Station, we aim to have all sides hear each other. We challenge everyone to listen and to empathize and to put themselves in the shoes of those who disagree with them. If you have never personally experienced racism, learn from first-hand accounts and empathize with those who have. If you can’t understand how anyone could have voted for a certain candidate, go beyond the extremist talking heads we often see in the media and try to understand other points of view. At Black Central Station, we are doing what we can to promote a diversity of black voices and foster understanding and discussion and open-mindedness. We will also draw attention to stories that Americans and members of the media may have missed elsewhere.”

“Americans won’t be unified if we aren’t part of the same conversation,” Ridenour concluded. “Some politicians and political groups have sought to benefit by driving Americans apart based on race and other circumstances of birth. It’s doubtful that these politicians benefited, excerpt perhaps just a few of them, and then only in the short run. We all benefit when, in the words of the late Rodney King, we just get along. That doesn’t mean agree. It means understand where each other is coming from, and respect everyone of good will.”

Black Central Station can be found online at www.blackcentralstation.org.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

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EVERYONE Should Reject Statements Demeaning to Women

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Sorry, Washington Post: EVERYONE Should Reject Statements Demeaning to Women

Black Conservative Leader Stacy Washington Was Called Out by Post Columnist for Saying Americans Should Be Outraged by Demeaning Statements Made By Musicians and Others, Not Just Politicians

Washington Calls on All Americans to Push Society in “A Just and Honorable Direction”


St. Louis, MO /Washington, D.C.
Stacy Washington, Urban Talk Radio host and a national spokesman for the black leadership group Project 21, has issued this response to a Washington Post article attacking Washington’s contention that music with lyrics demeaning women coarsen and harm our culture:

The Washington Post goes to great lengths to discredit the idea that culture impacts the behavior of the people who partake in it. Individuals will always miss the mark, but what we widely accept as culturally appropriate will raise or lower that mark for everyone.

I’m not arguing that rappers or music artists are running for president. I’m arguing that the acceptance of degrading music as “art” is hypocritical if you’re going to judge the private conversations of others differently no matter who they are or what office they aspire to.

Our current expressions of art run the gamut; with utter beauty and fascination at one end and utter debasement at the other. Much of rap music falls at the lower end. To deny that it’s having an impact on our children and young adults is to ignore the statistics which show society’s decline away from a morally just and honorable direction.

The author says reasonable people will laugh at my assertion. I disagree. For decades now religious groups, parent groups, mothers, legislators and elected leaders have decried the violent, sexually-perverse direction America’s music, movie, theater and art scenes have taken. Reasonable people aren’t laughing; they’re crying in shame.

The Post’s Janelle Ross, in an October 12 article now popping up in newspapers nationwide, attacked Washington’s observation that hip-hop music affects culture, and that we in turn as Americans, in accepting music and other elements in the popular culture that demean women, influence our elected officials.

“Ross’s article appears to give musicians and artists a pass, even as she writes that it would be ‘illogical’ to claim various works of music, literature and art whose contents were criticized ‘had no influence at all,'” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Ross states merely that degrading or controversial art, music and literature did not lead to ‘the ruination of mankind.’ That’s a rather low standard! But Ross is ludicrous as well in the way she picks and chooses. Beyonce is compared to Michelangelo. Michelangelo’s works have stood the test of time. Beyonce is gifted, but will her art be celebrated in 500 years?”

“Ross even makes the ludicrous claim that criticism of art forms demeaning to women, on occasions in which the artist is black, is the cousin of a 1989 incident in which a white man shot his pregnant wife and told the police an unknown black man had done it, causing the police to stop black men as part of their investigation,” added Ridenour. “Ross is focusing on the wrong thing. Stacy Washington is standing up for the CONSISTENT promotion of decency across our entire culture. Washington urges EVERYONE to join in building a culture that goes, as she put it, in a ‘just and honorable direction.’ It’s regrettable that Janell Ross and the Washington Post have chosen to stand for lower standards for some, which inevitably reduces standards for all.”

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Efforts to Take Down State-Level Religious Protection, Freedom of Conscience and Public Accommodation Laws

Investor Alert: Procter & Gamble Shareholders Urged to Reject Highly-Politicized Shareholder Proposal

National Center for Public Policy Research Calls on Procter & Gamble Investors to Reject Northstar Asset Management Resolution Designed to Enlist the Company into Efforts to Take Down State-Level Religious Protection, Freedom of Conscience and Public Accommodation Laws

Activist Proposal Seeks to Have Procter & Gamble Join with Companies Such as Apple and Google in Advancing Liberal Political Agenda

“Northstar’s Proposal is Bad for Business, Bad for Investors and a Threat to Religious Liberty, Common Sense and Freedom of Conscience”

Cincinnati, OH/Washington, D.C.  In advance of tomorrow’s annual meeting of Procter & Gamble shareholders in Cincinnati, Ohio, the National Center for Public Policy Research is urging all of the company’s investors to reject Northstar Asset Management’s shareholder proposal that is designed to convince Procter & Gamble to join its crusade against religious freedom, public accommodation and freedom of conscience laws.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. intends to speak out against Northstar’s proposal at tomorrow’s meeting.

“Northstar’s proposal is bad for business, bad for investors and a threat to religious liberty, common sense and freedom of conscience,” said Danhof. “Northstar is a left-wing political agent that is working to undermine certain conservative state laws. Joining one side or the other of hot-button political issues would not benefit Procter & Gamble’s investors in any way. We are calling for all investors to vote against Northstar’s proposal and send its political agenda packing.”

Northstar’s proposal calls for Procter & Gamble to become politically involved in certain political battles over state laws in locations such as Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Northstar proposal takes issue with a religious protection law in Mississippi. While that law is currently on hold pending appeal, Northstar claims that it “legalizes discrimination” but Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has said “the law simply provides religious accommodations granted by many other states and federal law.”

Northstar also inaccurately characterizes a Tennessee freedom of conscience law as anti-LGBT as a way to score political points. That law merely allows for a counselor to refer a patient to another professional if he believes treating that patient would conflict with his sincerely-held beliefs. Pro-LGBT counselors can hold sincerely-held beliefs just as well as an ardent Christian or Muslim counselor can.

Finally, Northstar’s proposal targets North Carolina’s much-debated public accommodation law which states that public restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities, including some in educational settings, should be used by individuals based on their biological sex.

Northstar implies that Procter & Gamble should engage in public policy campaigns about such laws and consider relocating operations from regions with these types of laws.

“Procter & Gamble has little, if anything, to gain by becoming a political pawn of Northstar Asset Management. While liberals may support Northstar’s policy positions, many religious and conservative folks would feel differently. Either way, choosing sides in heated political contests does nothing to improving Procter & Gamble’s business, operations or duties to its shareholders,” said Danhof.

Procter & Gamble’s board of directors also recommends that the company’s investors reject the proposal. Northstar’s complete proposal, and Procter & Gamble’s response to it, are available on pages 63 and 64 of the company’s proxy statement, which is available here.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In 2014-15, National Center representatives participated in 69 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues. Tomorrow’sProcter & Gamble meeting marks its 21st shareholder meeting of 2016.

Just this year, the Free Enterprise Project has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox News “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune among many others.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is also prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s new book, “The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech,” published by the Hachette Book Group.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

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Nike Ducks Civil Rights Question

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

“Today, Nike Showed Zero Respect for Its Shareholders, Zero Respect for the Rule of Law and Zero Integrity.”

Nike Signed Amicus Brief Defending Obama DOJ’s Position that Federal Law Requires Mixing the Biological Sexes in Public School Locker Rooms and Other Public Facilities in Litigation over North Carolina’s HB2

Obama’s DOJ Claims the Executive Branch Can Re-Write the Civil Rights Act to Allow People to Self-Determine Their Sex

National Center for Public Policy Research Asks Nation’s Largest Sports Apparel Brand To Explain How the 1964 Civil Rights Act Can Be Re-Written Without the Involvement of Congress

Despite Being Given the Question in Advance of Today’s Meeting, Nike Executives Refused to Answer the Question

Shareholder National Center for Public Policy Research Also Asked if the Sports Apparel Giant Will Put its Money Where its Mouth is and Withdraw from the Tar Heel State Like the NBA and NCAA; Nike Ducked that Question Also

Beaverton, OR/Washington, D.C.  At today’s annual meeting of Nike shareholders in Beaverton, Oregon, National Center for Public Policy Research General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. asked the sports apparel company if Nike believes the president of the United States has the power to re-write the 1964 Civil Rights Act without the involvement of Congress.


Nike, breaking from corporate best practices, did not accept direct questions. The company required Danhof to surrender the question in advance. Then, during the meeting, Nike CEO Mark Parker took the question, changed it radically, and asked one of his subordinates, chief sustainability officer Hannah Jones, to answer it for him.

Like a state-run media outfit, Nike rephrased the question to not only place the company in a favorable light, but to eliminate its entire purpose.

Here is the full text of the National Center’s question as provided to Nike today:

Despite the media headlines, HB2 is about much more than bathrooms; it is about the fundamental way the federal government operates. Nike’s support for the Justice Department means one of three things:

• Nike’s management believes that Congress, when it voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1972 Education Act Amendments, intended “sex” to be a mental state or belief about one’s sex not related to biology.

• Nike’s management believes that Congress, when referring to sex in 1964 and 1972, meant the term to refer to biological males and females, and that the definition of “sex” in federal law has simply changed over the years. Yet, if the definition of “sex” has changed, how did it change in federal law without Congress voting to change it and no federal court ruling redefining it?

• Or, finally, Nike believes that the executive branch can change the core meaning of federal laws all by itself.

My first question is: which of these does Nike believe?  Secondly, if Nike so opposed to HB2, would you be willing to put your money where your mouth is and pull your business out of the state? Like the NBA pulled its All-star game from Charlotte and the NCAA pulled numerous championship events from North Carolina sites, Nike could end its affiliation with Tar Heel State schools such as Duke, the University of North Carolina and Wake Forest and stop selling all related apparel. Would you be willing to do that?

Instead of asking – or answering – that question, CEO Parker simply asked Jones what Nike’s position is on discrimination and how that relates to its involvement with HB2 and North Carolina.

In response, Jones blankly stated that Nike doesn’t support discrimination and that’s why it was proud to partner with the Human Rights Campaign’s legal brief in support of the Justice Department.

“The behavior of Nike’s executives today would have been a joke, except it wasn’t funny,” said Danhof. “We posed a very serious question about why a corporation would support the Obama Administration’s effort to rewrite federal law in a way that could establish a very dangerous legal precedent, but the company clearly does not take these issues seriously. If it did, one of its executives would have had the courage to answer our question, but none did. Furthermore, the company’s restated question was an effort to claim that the National Center supports discrimination, while the company is some sort of defender of the downtrodden and discriminated. Now, that’s a joke.”

The conduct at Nike’s meeting should also be of great concern to all the company’s investors. Shareholders have one opportunity a year to voice concern and ask questions of key company executives. To neuter that process by rewriting questions and giving prepared answers is extremely disrespectful to those who invest their money with a publicly-traded company,” said Danhof. “Today, Nike showed zero respect for its shareholders, zero respect for the rule of law and zero integrity.”

“It’s easy to sit on the sidelines, but if Parker and Nike’s leadership are really so opposed to North Carolina’s public accommodation law, the company should sever all financial ties with the Tar Heel State, including its lucrative contracts with major universities such as Duke and the University of North Carolina,” added Danhof.

“I’m not surprised that Nike has jumped on this liberal bandwagon,” said Danhof. “The company, famous for its swoosh, has recently taken on many far-left social causes. For example, last year Nike CEO Mark Parker spoke out against state-level religious freedom laws. Nike also funds America’s largest abortion mill, Planned Parenthood. It appears that Nike has become a go-to corporation for liberal politicians and policy groups when they need support for leftist causes. That should alarm all Nike investors. We are a nation that is deeply divided politically. To pick one side over the other is to snub tens of millions of potential consumers.”

“Perhaps Nike’s executives remain blind to what the real legal issues are in the HB2 litigation. The Obama Administration’s Justice Department is pulling a classic bait and switch. The DOJ is using the siren song of discrimination over the use of public restrooms in North Carolina to try to wrest power away from Congress. What the DOJ is really seeking is executive authority to rewrite federal law. Viewed through the correct legal lens, companies such as Nike aren’t combating discrimination, they are supporting the Obama Administration’s goal of expanding executive branch power,” said Danhof.

Nike signed an amicus brief in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against North Carolina claiming that North Carolina’s HB2 law, which assigns restrooms, showers and locker rooms in public facilities based on biological sex, is illegal “sex discrimination,” citing the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s ban on sex discrimination.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act was written to ban discrimination based on race, color, religion, biological sex or national origin. It contained no provision establishing an individual’s legal right to claim a sex at odds with biology.

Nike’s position is that the Obama Administration can re-define the terms within the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If Nike’s position is upheld, a future President Trump or Clinton, and his or her successors, would have the legal precedent to also re-write any of the Act’s provisions, including those dealing with race and religion.

The National Center also asked if Nike is willing to “put its money where its mouth is” and withdraw business from North Carolina, as other sports, entertainment and corporate interests have done to protest HB2.

The DOJ is arguing that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1972 Education Act Amendments and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act, assigning a person a sex based on their physiology constitutes illegal sex discrimination.

The National Center for Public Policy Research believes Congressional approval is necessary if the federal government is to extend the Civil Rights Act to cover individuals who identify as transgender, but choose not to actually change their gender medically or legally. Otherwise, it says, any part of the Civil Rights Act could be redefined at the whim of any president, for any reason.

In July, the National Center issued a press release criticizing the 68 companies, including Nike, that are working with the Obama Administration to give the executive branch more power in rewriting federal laws. In that release, Danhof noted:

Besides offending the sensibilities of millions of Americans and North Carolinians who don’t wish to have grown men and young girls in states of undress in the same public facility, the Justice Department’s lawsuit seeks to fundamentally alter the rule of law. Obama’s Justice Department has long sought to include self-identified transgender individuals as a protected class under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972. Since the DOJ doesn’t have the Constitutional authority to rewrite laws, it is trying to seek the same result by establishing precedent with this court case. Such a result would irreparably damage America’s unique separation of powers and open the floodgates for increased executive branch control over state and local matters.

If the government is going to extend the Civil Rights Act to cover individuals who merely identify as transgender – but choose not to actually change their gender medically or legally – then that’s up to the U.S. Congress. Members of Congress are elected and accountable to the American people. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her lackeys at the Department of Justice are not. However, publicly-held companies are accountable to their investors and customers. Corporations that want to undermine the American people need to hear from these stakeholders. Every time a corporation even hints at taking a perceived conservative action or position, the liberal activist machine kicks into high gear and attacks that corporation. Conservative and free enterprise-minded folks need to start using the same tactics to go after companies that limit freedom.

And last month, Danhof questioned the executives of Red Hat – another signatory to the amicus brief – regarding the software company’s support for the DOJ’s overreach.

For more information on that meeting, see here and here.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In 2014-15, National Center representatives participated in 69 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues. Today’s Nike meeting marks its 20th shareholder meeting of 2016.

Just this year, the Free Enterprise Project has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox News “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune among many others.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a Nike shareholder.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is also prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s new book, “The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech,” published by the Hachette Book Group.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

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Obama Bypasses Congress; New England Legislatures to Create Yet Another National Monument

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:
Reform Needed, Group Says: No President Should Be Able to Create a 5,000-Square-Mile National Monument Without Consulting Congress and Affected States

National Center for Public Policy Research Calls on Congress to Repeal 1906 Law that Allows Presidents of Both Parties to Bypass States and Localities When Creating National Monuments

Says States Lose Opportunities for Environmental Management of Lands After Monument Designations Are Made

Hiking, Fishing, Swimming, Hunting and Other Uses Also Often Are Restricted, which In Turn Kills Local Jobs and Reduces Local Tax Revenues

Washington, D.C.  R.J. Smith and Bonner Cohen, senior fellows for environmental policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research, are responding to the White House’s announcement that President Obama is today unilaterally creating a new 5,000-square-mile national monument off the coast of New England.

President Obama is creating the monument without the approval of Congress or local state legislatures under the 1906 Antiquities Act, and has chosen the name “The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.”

“The 1906 Antiquities Act was designed to allow presidents to protect the theft of items from ancient Indian archaeological sites, and significant natural items such as fossils or petrified wood,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Because the scope of the Act was perceived to be limited, and due to the slowness of communication and transportation during that era, the Act was written not to require Congressional or local approval for monument designations.”

“Communications and transportation technologies have advanced tremendously in 110 years while presidents of both parties have exploited the Act to expand federal land control in ways never dreamed of by Congress in 1906,” Ridenour continued. “The National Center for Public Policy Research has called on Congress to repeal the Antiquities Act of 1906 and replace it with a law that allows not just Presidents, but Congress, affected states, and affected localities to have a say in federal monument designations. These designations affect states and localities tremendously. Unknown to most, they limit environmental management of affected lands. They also limit multiple-use activities such as hiking and fishing, and kill jobs and with them the loss of local tax revenues, which in turn affects revenues of local public schools and public services.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research published a new paper, “Time to Repeal the Antiquities Act of 1906,” by R.J. Smith earlier this week. It is available online here.

Robert J. Smith:

President Barack Obama and his out-of-control pen seem to be on a mission to demonstrate disregard of the Congress and the American people. He is accelerating the pace of his use of the long out-of-date Antiquities Act of 1906 to lock up vast expanses of the nation’s land and waters — in no-use or extremely limited-use categories. He is effectively creating national parks and wilderness areas — areas traditionally under the purview of the Congress.

He is doing this against the wishes of state, county and local officials and the working men and women in or adjacent to those areas.

Such designations, if they are to be created at all, should be done following careful debate by the U.S. Congress and the officials of the affected areas.

The President should be representing the interests of all Americans and not just a crusade to please the radical Green fringe. Hopefully, his actions of the past few weeks will be of such concern to members of Congress that they will begin immediate efforts to repeal this antiquated law and return the management decisions of our land and water to the American people.

R.J. Smith has served as a senior fellow in environmental policy at The National Center for Public Policy Research since 2005. Once president of a local Audubon Society chapter, Mr. Smith has studied environmental policy for nearly forty years and coined the term “free market environmentalism.” He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Interior, a consultant to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, and as a special assistant at the EPA.

Bonner Cohen, Ph.D.:

The Administration’s alleged concern for undersea wildlife is ludicrous. This is the same Administration that has proposed giving operators of giant industrial, and taxpayer-subsidized, wind facilities 30-year permits to kill thousands of eagles and other birds. The area’s red crab fishery already operates under a management plan that has been certified by the independent Marine Stewardship Council. These are the kinds of arrangements that protect rare species and the livelihoods of fishermen. We see how well the Washington ‘protects’ eagles and other avian species on wind-farm-laden federal land. Who can seriously believe they’ll do a better job in the Atlantic Ocean?

Bonner R. Cohen is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, the New York Post and dozens of other publications. He has testified before U.S. Senate and House committees and has spoken at conferences on three continents, and is the author of two books, including “The Green Wave: Environmentalism and its Consequences (Washington: Capital Research Center, 2006).”

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The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

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Obama’s Unilateral Maine Action Proves: Time to Repeal Antiquities Act of 1906

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Antiquities Act Allows President to Designate Federal Lands Without Congressional or Local Approval

Move Comes After White House Designates Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine Against Maine’s Wishes

Move Had Political Impact, and Was Supported by Environmental Left

Washington, D.C.  Two land rights experts with the National Center for Public Policy Research are asking Congress to repeal a 110-year-old law under which President Obama unilaterally created a “Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument” in Maine this week without the involvement of Congress or the approval of Maine.

The experts say the President’s action had a hidden political agenda, and argue that requiring Congressional approval for future such decisions will help remove the politics from the decisionmaking, and allow for greater input from affected communities.

“President Obama has created an economic dead zone in the North Maine Woods,” said Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “This is not an unintended consequence of the monument designation; this is exactly what Obama and the Greens want. By destroying the timber industry and other pillars of what’s left of Northern Maine’s rural economy, people seeking jobs will have no choice but to pack up and flock to urban areas to look for work. This will shift the political balance further to the advantage of the left, as the population of cities grows and that of rural areas sinks.”

“With the mere ‘stroke of a pen’ earlier this week, President Barack Obama unilaterally used an antiquated federal law to designate 87,563 acres (137 square miles) of north central Maine’s forests and small lakes as the latest national monument, the ‘Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument,'” said Robert J. Smith, also a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “This designation turns these private lands into lands of the U.S. Department of Interior and places them under the management restrictions and regulations of the National Park Service, continuing the government’s voracious acquisition of private lands and expanding the ever-growing amount of government land ownership.”

“But arguably,” Smith continued, “the most pernicious aspect of this expansion of the federal land estate is the means in which it was accomplished. When the Antiquities Act of 1906 was passed, much of the United States and almost all of the land west of the Mississippi was thinly-populated wildlands. It was nearly impossible to police those vast expanses and prevent the raiding and theft of items from ancient Indian archeological sites and sites with significant fossil deposits or petrified wood. The purpose of the Antiquities Act was to give these areas some special protection by designating the smallest area necessary surrounding them as special units of the federal estate — national monuments. But over the years, and especially in recent decades, presidents from both parties have vied with each other as to who could lock up the largest swath of land in a near-wilderness category to prevent the use of its natural resources, and this has been accomplished in a manner completely antithetical to America’s most basic constitutional principles. With the unilateral stroke of a pen the president can designate any amount of the federal estate as a national monument, circumventing the U.S. Congress and the state, counties and communities where the monument is, and disenfranchising the people of the area.”

“In this case, there is very strong opposition to the monument designation. Maine Governor LePage has been a very outspoken opponent of the monument. Likewise, the state legislature has voted opposition to the designation, and the people of this part of Maine in all the small communities adjacent to the new monument have opposed its creation. Furthermore, the working people of rural Maine fully understand the nature and purpose of national monument creations — which is to prevent multi-use of the lands and to halt use of the area’s natural resources, making it a quasi-national park. And they also understand that national monument designation is the entry-drug for national parks. They know that over time the regulations and restrictions applied to the monument will become ever stricter and more onerous and that eventually the monument will be turned into a national park. Already the yards and lawns of nearby towns like Millinocket have sprouted a sea of yellow and green No Park signs. But alas the federal hegemony has already arrived. The day after the designation National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis had already sent NPS employees into Millinocket and a NPS office is due to be opened shortly in Patten, a small community even closer to the monument,” Smith continued.

“This is an especially egregious example of the radical Greens’ and Washington’s ongoing effort at ‘rural cleansing’ — locking up multiple-use lands into lands that can only be used for little more than hiking and backpacking. This will prove to be a cancer in the North Maine Woods. The vast forestlands covering much of northern Maine have been a unique and highly-successful example of private conservation. Some three million acres of productive, working, privately-owned forests have been managed as the North Maine Woods Association, which provides opportunities for the public to enjoy those same woods for a multitude of recreational purposes such as hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, hiking, birding, and nature study — all for a small fee, which is used to provide campgrounds, fire rings, canoe launch areas, garbage disposal, and many other services. The area and its multiple uses for the public are a prime example of the compatibility of natural resource use, public recreation, and habitat and wildlife protection that often occurs on private lands, but which is almost always prohibited on government lands.”

“The radical Greens have lusted after acquisition of the North Maine Woods for decades, without success. But now they have finally succeeded in gaining a foothold on the edge of the vast forests and, like a cancer, will slowly begin to eat away at this magnificent and highly-successful example of private conservation. Before long the NPS will begin to complain about current activities within the new monument as well as activities adjacent to the monument.”

“Hunting will be banned as a threat to public safety and as being incompatible with the purpose of the NPS. Likewise, snowmobiling will eventually be phased out as a noisy destruction of the park experience and the solitude supposedly sought by visitors as well as a violation of the park’s ‘soundshed.’ And slowly the federal government will expand these regulations and controls used as a buffer zone to ever wider circles around the existing monument, making the existence of the ongoing forest products industry ever more difficult and problematic.”

“It is now far past time for the Congress to repeal an antiquated law that has long been unnecessary and is now used to lock up the American land and prevent the use of its natural resources as well as its use by the majority of people and families,” Smith concluded.

Bonner R. Cohen is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Articles by Dr. Cohen have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, the New York Post and dozens of other publications. Dr. Cohen has testified before U.S. Senate and House committees and has spoken at conferences in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Bangladesh. Dr. Cohen is the author of two books, The Green Wave: Environmentalism and its Consequences (Washington: Capital Research Center, 2006) and Marshall, Mao und Chiang: Die amerikanischen Vermittlungsbemuehungen im chinesischen Buergerkrieg (Marshall, Mao and Chiang: The American Mediations Effort in the Chinese Civil War) (Munich: Tuduv Verlag, 1984). Dr. Cohen received his B.A. from the University of Georgia and his Ph.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Munich.

R.J. Smith is a senior fellow in environmental policy at The National Center for Public Policy Research, a position he has held since mid-2005. Once president of a local Audubon Society chapter, Mr. Smith has studied environmental policy for nearly forty years and coined the term “free market environmentalism.” Mr. Smith has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Interior, a consultant to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, and as a special assistant at the EPA. He has also served as director of environmental studies at the Cato Institute and currently serves as an adjunct analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A popular speaker, Mr. Smith has lectured throughout the United States. He has also lectured abroad, including in Mexico, New Zealand, France, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

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U.S. Justice Department Report on Baltimore Policing: “Evidence of a Vindictive, Politically-Motivated Obama DOJ,”

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Department of Justice Report, “Investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department,” Comes on Heels of Failed Prosecution of Six Baltimore Police Officers in Freddie Gray Case

163-Page Report Was Highly Critical of Baltimore City Police Department

Hicks Says DOJ Report Contains “Classic Leftist Class/Race Theory,” Calls it Insulting to the Baltimore City Police Department

Hicks Says, “I Smell Another Federal Consent Decree That Will Federalize Baltimore’s Struggling Law Enforcement Officers… on the Heels of an Unprecedented National War on Cops — and Cop-Killing at Levels the Nation Has Not Seen Before.”


Los Angeles, CA /Washington, D.C.
– Project 21’s Joe R. Hicks has reviewed just-released U.S. Department of Justice report, “Investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department,” investigating the police department of the city of Baltimore, and found it wanting.

“After wading through 163 pages of tedious government-speak, it turns out the Department of Justice’s indictment of the Baltimore police department rests on the controversial liberal/leftist theory of ‘disparate impact,’ which argues that any practice or policy that results in a disproportionate impact on ‘protected groups’ is inherently racially biased. Apparently, too many black residents of Baltimore have been stopped, searched, arrested or jailed. What should that number be to satisfy Loretta Lynch, our nation’s unapologetically-ideological Attorney general? Crickets. In issuing this report, Barack Obama’s DOJ, now seemingly acts as the legal arm of the nation’s radical black activists,” says Joe R. Hicks, political commentator and Project 21 member.

“Combining classic leftist class/race theory, the report argues that there are ‘two Baltimores, one wealthy and largely white, the second impoverished and predominantly black’ to argue that deployment of scarce police resources to poor, violent, crime-ridden black neighborhoods is something that violates federal law. However, more accurate is the fact that little in the way of crime occurs in Baltimore’s ‘predominantly white’ areas, while crime, violence and homicide is at crisis levels in poor black parts of the city. Lynch unwittingly verifies this, saying in her report that ‘BPD made roughly 44 percent of its stops in two small, predominantly African-American districts’ containing only 11 percent of the city’s population.’ Without tackling the undergirding and important questions of why some of the predominantly poverty-stricken neighborhoods wallow in crime and dysfunction, the DOJ report insultingly indicts an entire police agency as an aggressive, out-of-control department that prays on the people it is sworn to protect and serve,” Hicks continued.

“Baltimore is the nation’s 21st largest city, with a population that is 63 percent black. The city has been under the control of the Democrat party since 1967, when the city last had a Republican mayor, Theodore McKeldin. Under Democrat rule, Baltimore has struggled with growing crime and violence, with 2015 being the most deadly year in the city’s history, with 344 homicides — nearly all young black men killed by other black youths. Despite the inference that Baltimore is a segregated center of racial intolerance, the city’s politics have been controlled largely by liberal black Democrats for decades. Its city council is predominantly black, its mayor is black and more than half of its police force is comprised of minorities and women and 54 percent of its command staff are from racial minorities. This is hardly Selma Alabama circa 1963,” Hicks added.

Hicks continued: “It is more than suspicious that this DOJ report is issued within weeks of Marilyn Mosby’s announcement that, as the state’s prosecutor, she was forced to drop all charges against six Baltimore police officers because she simply had no actual evidence of any wrongdoing. More evidence of a vindictive, politically-motivated Obama DOJ? I suggest that this is the case. The Justice Department’s report says ‘it looks forward to working… to create lasting reforms.’ I smell another federal consent decree that will federalize Baltimore’s struggling law enforcement officers, as has now happened in numerous cities like Ferguson, Missouri. This, on the heels of an unprecedented national war on cops — and cop-killing at levels the nation has not seen before.”

Joe R. Hicks is a member of the Project 21 black leadership network, is the vice president of Community Advocates, Inc., a privately-funded Los Angeles-based political think-tank.

For more than 35 years, Hicks has been an active and high-profile figure. Beginning in the turbulent 1960s and into the 1990s, Hicks’ views were aligned with what he describes as the “orthodoxy of left – liberalism.” By the mid-1990s, however, he began a lengthy re-examination process that resulted in dramatically-altered political views and positions. Today, his views often stand at odds with the beliefs with which he was long associated, and he now identifies himself as a political conservative.

Representing Project 21, he has been a guest on the Fox News Channel, CNN, NBC, Newsmax TV, SiriusXM satellite radio, USA Radio Network, Salem Broadcasting, Westwood One and other national television and radio networks, and his opinion articles and interviews have appeared in national and international print media such as the Washington Post andOrlando Sentinel. A former analyst and commentator for PJTV.com, he hosted “The Hicks File” and “The Minority Report” programs for the web-based media outlet. From 2005 to 2008, he also hosted the weekly “Joe Hicks Show” on KFI-AM in Los Angeles.

Prior to co-founding CAI, Hicks served as the executive director of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission from 1997 to 2001. In the early 1990s, Hicks was executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — the civil rights group formed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hicks previously served as a member of the Board of Governors for the California State Bar as well as on the California Advisory Panel to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

In 2007, Hicks testified on behalf of Project 21 before the U.S. House of Representatives regarding proposed legislation to create a “special resource study of sites associated with the life of Cesar Estrada Chavez and the farm labor movement.” Hicks, who had worked with Chavez, noted that “labor leaders who lead non-UFW farm worker associations hotly dispute the notion that Chavez or the UFW ever represented their views and challenge what they see as ‘mythology’ surrounding Chavez.”

See Joe Hicks talk about the Black Lives Matter movement on the Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File here and, also on The Kelly File, the Baltimore riots linked to the Freddie Gray case here. Some of many other media interviews by Joe Hicks are available here.

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Project 21 members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 35,000 times since the program was created in 1992. It is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research.  Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

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If DOJ Prevails in North Carolina’s HB2 Case, Future Presidents Could Re-Write Federal Laws

*Editor’s Note* – The National Center for Public Policy Research asks if “future presidents” could rewrite Federal Law. The question actually is answered by a simple examination of what has and continues to be a disregard of Federal Law and the authority granted any president to do just as he or she damned well pleases. The intent of “executive actions” is being severely abused, at least as most of us have been led to believe is the purpose of executive privilege. With each successive executive action that goes unchallenged by the public or by Congress, remains as precedence and policy, which drives the laws of this land today. The question here by NCPPR appears as though such a move to declare defining any sex as sexual discrimination, is something an administration can’t do. Since when does such a claim matter anymore?

I think this action was well described earlier today by a contributor to the website, in his article about “Arguing the Premise.”

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Could Barack Obama and His Successor, Presumably Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Re-Write the 1964 Civil Rights Act Anytime They Want?

National Center for Public Policy Research Asks Major Software Company Why It Argues In Court That Assigning the Use of Public Restrooms and Showers by Biological Sex Is Illegal “Sex Discrimination”

U.S. Department of Justice Argues that 1964 Civil Rights Act, 1972 Education Act and 2013 Education Act All Make Traditional Biological Determinations of Sex Illegal Under Federal Law

68 Corporations, Including Red Hat, Claim the DOJ is Right

But When Did Congress Pass a Law Saying the Very Idea of Biological Sex is Illegal Discrimination?

Answer: It Didn’t.

Does Red Hat Believe the DOJ Can Re-Write Federal Law Any Way It Wants? Does It Argue that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton Could, Too?

Raleigh, NC/Washington, D.C.  At today’s annual meeting of Red Hat shareholders held in Raleigh, North Carolina, the National Center for Public Policy Research asked management for the legal rationale behind the company’s argument that assigning sex based on physiology constitutes illegal “sex discrimination” under federal law.

North Carolina passed a law, known as HB2, determining that public restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities, including some in educational settings, should be used by individuals based on their biological sex. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has gone to federal court to argue the law should be thrown out because assigning sex by biology constitutes illegal “sex discrimination.”

The DOJ is arguing that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1972 Education Act Amendments and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act, assigning a person a sex based on their physiology constitutes illegal sex discrimination.

National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq., asked Red Hat’s management at the meeting just when it became illegal to assign sex by biology.

Danhof asked the Red Hat management:

This case is about much more than diversity. This is a question about law.

Is it the position of Red Hat’s management that Congress, when it voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1972 Education Act Amendments, intended “sex” to be a mental state or belief about one’s sex not necessarily related to biology or physiology?

Or is it the position of Red Hat’s management that Congress, when referring to sex in 1964 and 1972, meant the term to refer to biological males and females, and that the definition of “sex” in federal law has simply changed over the years?

If the definition of “sex” has changed, how did it change in federal law without Congress voting to change it and no federal court ruling redefining it?

Or is it the position of Red Hat that the executive branch can change the core meaning of federal laws all by itself?

In response, Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst largely deferred to the company’s general counsel, Michael Cunningham.

Company executives claimed that they signed the brief based on public policy reasons, fearing that HB2 would lead to discrimination. Cunningham then tried to parse the legal procedure of the case by stating that the company signed onto a brief supporting an injunction on HB2 until the full case on the merits is litigated – and that the company didn’t necessarily back DOJ’s full lawsuit.

“I pressed Red Hat’s executives on the claim that they only signed a brief supporting an injunction. I pointed out that this was a distinction without a difference since the brief that Red Hat signed and the DOJ’s brief on the merits apply the same logic and much of the same legal principles. At that point, Cunningham conceded that the company did support the DOJ’s primary position regarding HB2 and thought the law should be overturned,” noted Danhof.

“I left the meeting with the sense that the company is fully supporting the Obama Administration’s effort to rewrite federal law and that it somehow thinks the DOJ is justified in this extra-Constitutional action,” said Danhof. “So I warned Red Hat’s executives that they are supporting a potentially precedent-setting case with ramifications far beyond North Carolina’s HB2 law – and that in the future they should take a much more earnest look at all the issues before getting involved in legal cases that have almost nothing to do with the company’s operations.”

The core of the Department of Justice’s case is that the DOJ can re-define the meaning of “sex discrimination” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and in Title IX of the 1972 Education Act, two of the most influential civil rights laws ever adopted by Congress. By endorsing the DOJ’s position in the case, Red Hat and the other corporations have explicitly endorsed allowing the executive branch to re-write federal law.

“Does corporate America really believe the executive branch can re-write federal law anytime it wants?” asked Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Because the companies are arguing either that Members of Congress in 1964 and 1972 intended the word ‘sex’ to refer not to biological men and women but to a fluid definition individuals can change, even repeatedly, or that Congress changed the definition since those laws were passed. But if Congress changed those laws, when did it do so?”

“Red Hat and 67 other major corporations, including Nike, General Electric, American Airlines and United Airlines, IBM, Dow Chemical, Capital One and many others are arguing that the executive branch – that means Barack Obama and soon, presumably, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton – can change laws anytime he or she wants,” added Ridenour. “All these corporations should be explaining to their shareholders why they have gone to court arguing that the separation of powers laid out in the U.S. Constitution, which says Congress passes the laws and the executive branch enforces them, is no longer in effect, and when and how that change took place.”

“If these 68 corporations and the DOJ prevail in their case and the executive branch does get the power to re-write federal law by itself,” Ridenour concluded, “they had better hope no anti-business politician ever gets elected President of the United States.”

On March 23rd, North Carolina’s legislature passed HB2, formally titled the “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act,” often called North Carolina’s restroom and shower law. Among other things, the law states that individuals must use public restrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate (transgender individuals can change the sex on their birth certificate after gender reassignment surgery). On May 9th, the Justice Department filed suit seeking to halt the law’s implementation. On July 8th, 68 major corporations, in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign, filed a legal brief supporting the Justice Department’s position. The trial is tentatively scheduled to start November 14.

“Who uses which public restroom, locker room or public shower facility in the Tar Heel state has nothing to do with Red Hat’s international software business,” added Danhof. “Yet, Red Hat and 67 other major corporations are actively involved in litigation supporting the federal government’s attempt to block North Carolina’s common sense public accommodation law. Unfortunately, many of these corporations probably have no idea what they are really doing is supporting the U.S. Justice Department’s efforts to upend the rule of law and separation of powers.”

“Also, where is all this supposed discrimination? To hear these corporate executives talk or read the words in their legal brief, one would expect widespread news coverage of constant discrimination of transgender individuals across North Carolina. The dearth of such stories speaks truth to these lies of discrimination,” Danhof concluded.

In July, the National Center issued a press release criticizing the 68 companies, including Red Hat, that are working with the Obama Administration to give the executive branch more power in rewriting federal laws. In that release, Danhof noted:

Besides offending the sensibilities of millions of Americans and North Carolinians who don’t wish to have grown men and young girls in states of undress in the same public facility, the Justice Department’s lawsuit seeks to fundamentally alter the rule of law. Obama’s Justice Department has long sought to include self-identified transgender individuals as a protected class under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972. Since the DOJ doesn’t have the Constitutional authority to rewrite laws, it is trying to seek the same result by establishing precedent with this court case. Such a result would irreparably damage America’s unique separation of powers and open the floodgates for increased executive branch control over state and local matters.

If the government is going to extend the Civil Rights Act to cover individuals who merely identify as transgender – but choose not to actually change their gender medically or legally – than that’s up to the U.S. Congress. Members of Congress are elected and accountable to the American people. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her lackeys at the Department of Justice are not. However, publicly-held companies are accountable to their investors and customers. Corporations that want to undermine the American people need to hear from these stakeholders. Every time a corporation even hints at taking a perceived conservative action or position, the liberal activist machine kicks into high gear and attacks that corporation. Conservative and free enterprise-minded folks need to start using the same tactics to go after companies that limit freedom.

“Even if this case was purely about the public restroom, locker room and shower provisions in HB2, Red Hat is making a poor strategic decision. Opinion polls show a plurality of Americans support the law’s commonsense approach requiring men and boys to use the men’s facilities and women and girls to use the women’s facilities when in public places,” noted Danhof. “If Red Hat wants an example of what public backlash can look like for supporting perverse restroom and accommodation policies, it should look to Target Corporation. After announcing that its restrooms and changing rooms were open to anyone based on their subjective identification, the retailer’s stock price and foot traffic to its stores plummeted.”

National Center President David Ridenour is a Red Hat shareholder.

In May, Danhof confronted Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi after she called for North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to repeal HB2. While Nooyi defended Pepsi’s position, the company did not join in the Human Rights Campaign legal brief that Red Hat endorsed.

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The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In 2014-15, National Center representatives participated in 69 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues. Today’s Red Hat meeting marks its 19th shareholder meeting of 2016.

Just this year, the Free Enterprise Project has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox News’ “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune among many others.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is also prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s new book, “The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech,” published by the Hachette Book Group.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

 

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