Arkansas
Arkansas wants to project a bucolic image. The truth, however, is that the state has now proven to be an intellectual backwater.

Let’s see if any of 12 Arkansas legislators have the audacity to defend their vote.

Arkansas has the 6th worst elementary and secondary schools in the nation (just a tad better than Alaska). Nevertheless the Arkansas legislature found time to fulfill the agenda of Alliance Defending Freedom and pass a law (including a veto override) to ban gender-affirming care of gender-diverse children.

I chose 12 House members at random who voted to override the veto. I chose them prior to knowing their occupation. As you will see below, not one of the 12 has any medical training.

I sent them an email with a few admittedly rhetorical questions:

Exactly what qualifies you to override the Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics? If you had a child with a medical condition, would you consult:

  1. A [their profession]?
  2. Alliance Defending Freedom?
  3. A board-certified pediatrician?

If your answer is #3, would you want him or her to follow the established guidelines of their professional organization?

I find it infuriating that people with no applicable training whatsoever would presume to have the erudition to enter into a dispute with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Michel R. Hutchison, a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist who also has an academic appointment, testified before the Arkansas Senate assuring them that their actions would kill kids. Exasperated, Dr. Hutchison promised to call each senator when children die from self-harm.

I cannot tell why these people voted to override their governor’s veto but the choices are obvious: Religion and/or politics. Either way they are disgracing their legislative body.

If religion was their motivator then they defied the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution.

If it’s politics they defied the very intent of our representative form of government. It is based upon the premise that the mob is not always right. A legislator’s burden is to educate — not placate — constituents.

Here are a dozen of the legislative miscreants, Republicans all:

  • Representative Justin Gonzales

    Rep. Gonzales is a farmer. He is identifies with the Church of God.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Lane Jean

    Rep. Jean lists his occupation as “
    Timber, Real Estate, Cattle.” Jean identifies as a Church of Christ adherent.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative John Maddox

    Rep. John David Maddox, II is a lawyer. Maddox identifies as a Christian.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Gayla H. McKenzie

    Rep. McKenzie claims to be a “business owner.” McKenzie identifies with Berean Ministries.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Clint Penzo

    Rep. Penzo claims to be a realtor. Penzo identifies as Catholic.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Brandt Smith

    Rep. Smith is a professor. His “professorship” (apparently in theology) is at a for-profit online school. Smith identifies as a Southern Baptist.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Jeff Wardlaw

    Rep. Wardlaw is a farmer. He identifies as a United Methodist. What? Training in fertilizer application and crop rotation is not the equal of medical school?

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Sonia Eubanks Barker

    Rep. Barker claims to be a “high school educator,” whatever the hell that means. Barker identifies as a Baptist.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Justin Boyd

    Rep. Boyd is a pharmacist. Boyd identifies as Roman Catholic. Pharmacist dispense medications in contrast to prescribing medications.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Carol Dalby

    Rep. Dalby is a lawyer (without a Martindale profile). Dalby identifies as United Methodist.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative Brian S. Evans

    Rep Evans lists his occupation as “logistics.” He identifies as a Baptist.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion

  • Representative John P. Carr

    Rep. Carr says that he is a project manager. He is one of the few Republican Arkansas legislators without a religious affiliation in his bio. Then again, he doesn’t provide his phone number either.

    Unqualified to render a medical opinion