At Cato: laws making ridesharing drivers wait, and the N.C. bathroom compromise

I’ve got two new pieces up at Cato at Liberty:

1) Following an outcry, Nevada lawmakers have dropped a plan to hobble ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber by requiring that their drivers wait at least 15 minutes before picking up a fare. The bill had been backed by a taxi union that donates heavily to lawmakers: all must be brought down to the level of the slowest in the name of a level playing field!

2) No one’s willing to come out and say that the North Carolina bathroom compromise signed yesterday by Gov. Roy Cooper is actually pretty good. But it is.


  • The bathroom law, as originally formulated, was “pretty good.” To the extent someone has undergone reassignment surgery and had a birth certificate changed, then fine. But to allow access by men to women’s restrooms on the self-described “identity” was an invitation to perverts. And what of the rights of millions of women and girls to simply perform intimate bodily functions in a manner that, until very recently, was unquestioned.

    Liberty is not enhanced by allowing maniacal special-interests to force 12 year old girls to either “hold it” or run the obvious risks associated with this crazy idea.

    • I disagree with you for reasons stated in my piece.

      • Your piece focuses on home rule and the small minority–it does not address the issues that women/girls face when their bathrooms/changing facilities etc. are thrown open to those who would claim female identity.

        Please explain how the self-described identity isn’t an invitation to perverts, much like vaccination conscience exceptions aren’t an invitation to anti-vaxxers to not get their kids vaccinated. You may think that the rights of the tiny minority override those considerations–fine, say so. But it seems to me that your ideology is leading to somewhat nasty value judgments with respect to those of us who think that society has a right to expect more than a “I am female today–a la Jeff Spicoli” to allow a male to enter into a women’s lockerroom or bathroom.

        • *You* are the one demanding enactment of a new statewide law on a topic that seems to have worked well up to now under local discretion, and it is up to you, not me, to reveal which horrible events in North Carolina make it necessary to remove the discretion of local officials and building managers. As it happens, transgender persons long past the threshold of adulthood have been using bathrooms of the sex they present as for many, many years, and if any horrible incidents have resulted in North Carolina, I must have missed the coverage. Your own favored law would suddenly make this unlawful for, say, county employees who have not obtained (sometimes unobtainable) revised birth certificates, even if the manager of a county building judges that no issues for other users have arisen or are likely to arise. It is for you to defend that harsh outcome, yet you have not.

          My article did not depend on for its logic, or bring in at all, my own views on what it is reasonable for local authorities to ask in changing rooms (which present different issues than rest rooms), in places customarily used by children, in situations where a user does not consistently present as the sex in question, or in the many situations where populations are wards of the state for the long or short term. I find it hard to tell how you presume to know how I think a local manager should handle that range of situations and whether my advice would be closer to yours, or to those of the ACLU and transgender groups.

          This does not prevent you from projecting onto me “somewhat nasty value judgments.” Projection is a funny thing, isn’t it?

  • “and it is up to you, not me, to reveal which horrible events in North Carolina make it necessary to remove the discretion of local officials and building managers.”

    For one, I don’t know that under Charlotte’s ordinance there was “discretion.”

    For two, the “nasty value judgments” seem to drip from your writing on this topic. Perhaps that’s a misimpression on my part, but I doubt it.

    For three, I alluded to a defense of that supposedly “harsh” outcome . . . . there are the usages and rights of society too. In other words, life is hard when you are transgender. That’s reality. I don’t particularly like cruelty to people based on who they sleep with or they way they dress. But that’s not what’s going on here. We are talking about societal norms about intimate bodily functions.

    For four, your arguments are on a collision course with themselves–(a) if people who self-identify as women (with nothing else but a say-so) have these rights, then why does the presence of children make a difference? (b) Why do building managers get to have “discretion.”? Either they have rights or they don’t. And, by the by, if people locked up by the state have a right not to be uncomfortable, why can’t society embody that same accommodation to law-abiding people? And how does your logic not extend to the lockerrooms?

    And five–there have been issues in NYC with men in women’s lockerrooms. And there was some perv in a Target.

  • By the way, I do appreciate the engagement. Sharp but civil disagreement is a good thing sometimes.