Republican lawmakers in over 20 states used their annual or bi-annual legislative sessions to introduce anti-transgender bathroom bills, health care bans, and sports bans, but GOP lawmakers were only able to push their bills across the finish line in two states.
Laws passed and signed into law in Arkansas and West Virginia have already been blocked in court, but that doesn't mean they aren't planning to take another shot.
Politico reports that Republicans plan to reintroduce their anti-trans bills next year because they believe it will help them in the midterm election.
Most of the bills stalled this year, but supporters plan to reintroduce many of them in 2022 — a year when the conservative Supreme Court will decide a landmark Mississippi abortion case that could overturn or curtail Roe v Wade and when the November congressional elections will determine whether President Joe Biden will retain a Democratic majority in Congress.
“I would expect next year state legislatures to be full of these bills," said Louise Melling, director of the ACLU's Center for Liberty which includes programs on reproductive rights and LGBTQ programs. “The same kinds of bills are proposed, and with new variations, in efforts to see what will stick.”
I have no doubt that Republicans believe this will help them in next year's elections, but I don't agree with them. I firmly believe that this turns off more voters than it attracts and a majority of those attracted to it were already planning to vote for a Republican.
If this is the best they've got, I think Democrats can defy the odds and maintain at least partial control of Congress beyond 2022. There is always a chance they will not be able to, however, and that makes it all the more important to pass the mammoth $3.5 spending and reform bill currently making its way through the reconciliation process.