Texas AG Ken Paxton Tries to Block Obama Administration from Enforcing Nondiscrimination Laws
A federal district judge in Texas will hold a hearing Friday to determine whether he should enter a nationwide injunction blocking the Obama administration from protecting transgender people against discrimination.Â
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken PaxtonÂ (photo) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 13 states that seeks to prevent the administration from implementing its interpretation of two federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex. The administration maintains â€” and numerous federal courts have held â€” that Title VII and Title IX also cover transÂ people.Â
However, Paxton’s office alleges the administration wants to turn schools and workplaces “into laboratories for a massive social experiment” and is “running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights.” In requesting a nationwide preliminary injunction, Paxton’s office citedÂ concerns aboutÂ â€œthe nature of the nudityâ€ trans people may display, and the â€œbodily functions they may perform in intimate areas.â€Â
The lawsuit was filed in response to guidance issued byÂ the U.S. Education and Justice departments in May, saying public schools risk losing federal funding if they don’t allow trans students to use restrooms based on their gender identity. But the Obama administration maintains the guidance isn’t legally binding, and has questioned whether Paxton’s office has standing to challenge it, given that the case doesn’t involve any specific controversy over trans restroom access in Texas.Â
“Indeed, plaintiffs have identified no enforcement action threatened or taken against them as a result of defendantsâ€™ interpretations, nor have they established that the guidance documents have any binding legal effect,” the federal government wrote in opposition to Paxton’s request for a preliminary injunction. “Instead, they have alleged no more than an abstract disagreement with the agenciesâ€™ interpretation of the law. … If the defendant agencies seek to apply this interpretation to plaintiffs in a future enforcement proceeding, plaintiffs will have ample opportunity to raise the arguments that they prematurely seek to assert in this case.”Â
In the wake of the guidance, Paxton’s office drafted a model policy restricting trans restroom access, then shopped it to multiple Texas school districts. The policy was eventually adopted by the tiny Harrold district, on the Oklahoma border near Wichita Falls, which is the lead plaintiff in the case. Until now, district was best known as the first to allow teachers to carry guns, and its superintendent, David Thweatt, has said he doesn’t think trans people exist.Â
LGBT advocates say Paxton deliberately filed the case in the region presided over by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, who last year issued a horrific ruling â€” also in response to a lawsuit from the AG’s office â€” blocking gay workers from taking unpaid leave to care for their sick partners. Ken Upton, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, called Paxton’s lawsuit over the administration’sÂ guidance on trans students “a big circus, mostly for political gain.” Â
“I guess he doesnâ€™t have anything else to do. He must not have any person problems â€” oh wait, apparently he does,” Upton said, alluding to the fact that Paxton is currently facing first-degree felony charges for alleged securities fraud. “His claim to fame is going to be, ‘How many ways can I get a dig in at the federal government?'”Â
Image viaÂ Facebook
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately
Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”
McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.
“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”
Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”
Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.
“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”
‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
- News2 days ago
‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws
- News14 hours ago
‘Fool or a Liar’: GOP Knives Out for ‘A–hole’ Matt Gaetz as Vote to Oust McCarthy Appears Likely to Succeed
- News17 hours ago
Trump Has Now ‘Crossed the Line Into Criminal Threats’: Top Legal Scholar
- News1 day ago
Gaetz Needs Just Five Republicans to Oust McCarthy – He Already Has Three
- News2 days ago
McCarthy ‘Could Be a Former Speaker by the End of This Week’: Report
- News16 hours ago
‘Probably So’: McCarthy Says His Speakership Likely Will End After Vote
- News10 hours ago
McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–’