June 5, 2023

Jonathan Turley, a constitutional scholar at the George Washington University School of Law, has proposed forming a coalition among conservative “red” states to boycott any liberal “blue” states that boycotted first, such as California.

The proposal is a response to efforts by blue states to ban state-funded travel to red states, which have enacted conservative laws on issues such as transgender restrooms in schools, biological males participating in women’s sports and restricting abortion.

California, for example, currently bans state-sponsored travel to 22 states. While such a ban is difficult to enforce – it is. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently violated the state’s ban on Idaho travel — and they do have ramifications because they can force private companies to follow the blue state’s lead. The red states were then forced to obey the whims of corporations — not the democratic will of their own constituents — to make their laws more liberal than they should have been.

Turley argued in an op-ed hill On August 6, the Blue State boycott violated the basic tenets of federalism in the Constitution and prevented states from seeking compromise on social issues:

In a system based on the principles of federalism, we employ a model that allows each state to draw its own conclusions on divergent issues. The result could be a consensus around avoiding moderate positions on both sides, often driven to extremes by issues such as abortion. … when states try to force other states to bow to their demands on these issues, they hinder state experimentation and expression.

In response, Turley proposed a coalition of red states based on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its Article V, which stipulated that an attack on any one member should be interpreted as an attack on all members, triggering a collective response:

While ideally this would be an agreement for all states, red states should pass legislation prohibiting business or travel with any state participating in the boycott. The point is that the agreement must stick to principle, allow no exceptions, and trigger reciprocity immediately: a travel ban on Nebraska would result in a reciprocal ban not just from Nebraska, but from every state in the union.

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

Read Turley’s full article here.

Joel B. Pollak is a senior editor at Breitbart News and Breitbart News Sunday Stream Sundays on Sirius XM Patriot from 7-10pm ET (4-7pm PT). He is the author of a recent ebook, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 US Presidential Election. His most recent book, red november, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is the recipient of the 2018 Robert Nowak Journalism Alumni Scholarship.follow him on twitter @Joel Pollack.

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