Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota followed through on her promise to block a bill that would have prevented biological males from competing in sports intended for females on Monday, insisting that her action is “not a veto” even though it functions identically to a veto.
“I have received your message that the House of Representatives failed to approve my recommendations as to changes of style and form of House Bill 1217,” Noem said in a letter to the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Noem cited a provision in the state’s Constitution that allows bills with “errors in style or form” to be returned to the State legislature, in a process that functions identically to a veto.
“Given the House action, I cannot certify that the bill conforms with my specific recommendations,” Noem wrote. “Therefore, my only option consistent with the constitution is the fail [sic] to certify the bill and return it you.”
HB1217 now vetoed. Citing the SD Constitution's "returned … as a vetoed bill" language, Gov. Noem is claiming SHE didn't veto it.
Instead (deep breath) her rejection of the Legislature's rejection of her style and form veto forces the bill to be "treated as if it was vetoed." https://t.co/HslbaoiNdn
— Jeremy Fugleberg (@jayfug) March 29, 2021
“Pursuant to the constitutional provision above, returning the bill is not a veto,” Noem insisted. “Rather, the constitution provides that the legislature’s failure to accept my recommendations requires that the bill be treated as if it was vetoed.”
The South Dakota House and Senate are expected to begin proceedings for a veto override vote in the next few days.
Noem has come under fire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for her awkward handling of HB 1217 and her refusal to concede that she is effectively vetoing the legislation.
“She got bullied by business interests and she caved at a time when we need leaders who are courageous, and she’s not,” Carlson said of Noem following a heated debate between the two on air.
Tucker: "She got bullied by business interests and she caved at a time when we need leaders who are courageous, and she's not." pic.twitter.com/s3AMtaP5cc
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) March 25, 2021
Despite Noem’s opposition to effort to prevent biological men from competing in women’s sports, the movement to protect women’s sports remains immensely popular among the general public.