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BREAKING: Federal Judge Blocks Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom Guidance

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Issues Nationwide Injunction in Lawsuit Brought by Texas on Behalf of 13 States

As expected, a federal district judge in Texas has issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Obama administration from enforcing recent guidance saying public schools should allow transgender students to use restroom and locker rooms based on their gender identity. 

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee who has a record of opposing LGBT rights, handed down the 38-page order Sunday in a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on behalf of 13 states. At a hearing 10 days ago, Paxton’s office argued the administration is holding “a gun to the head” of the states by threatening to withhold federal education funds if they don’t “mix the sexes in intimate areas.” 

However, O’Connor didn’t rule on the merits of the lawsuit — or the question of whether trans students are protected against discrimination under existing federal law. Rather, he concluded that the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice failed to follow proper legal procedure before issuing the guidance in May.  

“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor wrote. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this Order. Instead, the Constitution assigns these policy choices to the appropriate elected and appointed officials, who must follow the proper legal procedure.” 

O’Connor’s order states that the injunction bars the administration from “initiating, continuing, or concluding any investigation” based on its opinion that Title IX, the 1972 federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sex in education programs, also covers gender identity. The injunction also bars the administration from “asserting the Guidelines carry weight in any litigation initiated” going forward.  

LGBT advocates have said they expect the Obama administration to immediately appeal the injunction.

Freedom for All Americans, the bipartisan campaign to secure nationwide protections for LGBT people, called O’Connor’s order “outrageous.” 

“Today’s ruling is a step back for transgender protections by a conservative judge who refused to hear the voices of a single transgender student or worker during court proceedings,” FFAA chief program officer Kasey Suffredini said. “It is shameful that opponents of equality have forced this lawsuit forward in an attempt to make transgender Americans pawns in a political game; but this ruling will not stand the test of time. All transgender Americans — particularly transgender youth — deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. No singular court ruling negates the right of all Americans to receive equal treatment under the law — that’s one of our nation’s founding values.”

Paxton said in a  statement he was “pleased that the court ruled against the Obama Administration’s latest illegal federal overreach. 

“This President is attempting to rewrite the laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people, and is threatening to take away federal funding from schools to force them to conform,” he said. “That cannot be allowed to continue, which is why we took action to protect States and School Districts, who are charged under state law to establish a safe and disciplined environment conducive to student learning.” 

Sarah Webelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, said O’Connor’s order “puts thousands of transgender students at even greater risk of marginalization, harassment, and discrimination.” 

“Despite this judge’s decision, schools are not barred from following the federal guidance, and school administrators still have a responsibility to ensure that the civil rights of all students are respected and that transgender students have access to facilities consistent with their gender identity,” Warbelow said. “As lawsuits on the scope of Title IX proceed, we believe that justice will prevail as courts continue to recognize that discrimination against transgender students is a form of sex discrimination.”

Read O’Connor’s order here. 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

AOC Slams McCarthy and His GOP ‘Ku Klux Klan Caucus’ for Allowing ‘Violent Targeting’ of Women of Color in Congress

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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is criticizing House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for refusing to deal with the members of his “Ku Klux Klan” caucus who are ignoring and allowing the “violent targeting” of women of color members of Congress.

The Democratic Congresswoman from New York, herself the frequent target of violent threats, pointed to this video of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar playing a death threat received after she was targeted by GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert:

“People truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats targeting” Congresswoman Omar, Ocasio-Cortez says.

“Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of woc members of Congress. This cannot be ignored,” she warns.

Congresswoman Boebert over the past week was exposed – on video – suggesting Rep. Omar is a terrorist three times, including in one video she herself posted to social media.

McCarthy has refused to take any action against Boebert.

 

 

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'BLAZING POSITIVE'

‘Massive, Dangerous, Likely Intentional’: Immunologist Blasts Trump for Ignoring Positive COVID Test Before Biden Debate

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A Harvard epidemiologist, immunologist and physician is blasting Donald Trump‘s decision to continue his activities as normal in September 2020, not go public with the results of his positive COVID test result, and continue business as usual – including participating in a debate against Joe Biden – revelations made in a new book by Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday.

Dr. Michael Mina says if Trump had been given a rapid COVID test the day of the first presidential debate against Joe Biden, President Trump “would have been blazing positive,” and calls the decision to not test “massive, dangerous and likely intentional.”

“The decision to continue to not test on [the] day of the Rose Garden superspreader event and on [the] day of the debate with now @POTUS Biden was a massive, dangerous and likely intentional decision,” says Michael Mina, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Was Trump the superspreader? For a year, I’ve suggested Trump was the likely superspreader at White House Rose Garden on 9/28/20,” Mina posits. “All were supposedly tested, so how would a superspreader enter? Now we know Trump tested COVID positive 2 days earlier.”

Citing Meadows’ new book, The Guardian reported Wednesday morning that Trump tested positive on Sept. 26, and shortly thereafter, before the Sept. 29 presidential debate, tested negative – but three days after the debate, on Oct. 2, again tested positive, and was rushed to Walter Reed hospital hours later.

Because Trump “was testing so frequently, he was [likely] detected using a molecular test at the earliest time, before becoming infectious,” says Mina.

“So when he immediately tested again with a rapid Ag test, it did not yet register positive because he was not YET infectious,” Mina explains. “Had he used a rapid test later that day or next day though, once he was becoming slightly infectious, he almost certainly would have been positive.”

 

 

 

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Listen Live: US Supreme Court Arguments in Case That Will Decide Future of Abortion in America

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The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday morning will hear oral arguments in what will be a decisive case for the future of abortion in America.

Justices will hear arguments in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, over a Mississippi abortion ban designed to overturn the nearly 50-year old precedent-setting ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Listen live starting at 10 AM ET below via C-SPAN or a Reuters feed:

 

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