Teas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, running for re-election, on Monday sued the Biden administration in litigation falsely attacking LGBTQ people.
Paxton filed a lawsuit in a federal court seen as a friendly pipeline to the Supreme Court, over LGBTQ-related Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and even used the litigation to prop up a far right wing conspiracy theorist, who is also running for re-election. EEOC Commissioner Charlotte Burrows and Attorney General Merrick Garland are named as defendants.
The EEOC “guidance misstates the law, increasing the scope of liability for the State in its capacity as an employer,” Paxton claims in the lawsuit, as Bloomberg Law reports.
But as Courthouse News’ David Lee reports, the Paxton lawsuit also relies on old, false, and bigoted tropes about transgender people, saying allowing them to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity, “puts many women and children at risk.”
#BREAKING: Texas sues Biden administration in Amarillo federal court over @USEEOC guidance for employers to allow bathroom, pronoun and dress code exceptions for #LBGTQ employees. @TXAG Ken Paxton says guidance is illegal, “puts many women and children at risk” @CourthouseNews pic.twitter.com/0VjRcC5TiN
— David Lee (@davejourno) September 20, 2021
A June 2020 landmark Supreme Court found that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination is sex discrimination. The Biden Equal Employment Opportunity Commission used that ruling to form policy that mandates workplace guidance, including on who can use which restrooms.
Curiously, and for no discernible reason, Paxton’s lawsuit also promotes the Texas Dept. of Agriculture (TDA), which is headed by conspiracy theorist Sid Miller.
“TDA has both unisex single-occupancy bathrooms and bathrooms that are designated by sex. It interprets ‘sex’ as referring to biological sex rather than gender identity,” the lawsuit says. “If any employee wanted to use the bathrooms designated for the opposite sex, TDA would reject such a request.”
Newsweek adds that Paxton’s lawsuit “says that the TDA interprets sex to mean biological sex, rather than gender identity. The complaint says, ‘If any employee dressed as a member of the opposite sex, TDA would consider such conduct to be a violation of its standards.'”
It also says the TDA would reject requests for “any employee wanted to use the bathrooms designated for the opposite sex” or any employee who “wanted TDA to require other employees to use pronouns based on gender identity.”
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‘Coup Memo’ Think Tank Encouraging ‘Secession-by-Sheriff’ With Latest Project: Report
A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.
The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.
“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”
The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.
“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”
Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.
“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”
Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”
Glenn Youngkin Brags About Support From Opponents of LGBTQ Equality Just Weeks Ahead of Virginia Election
Republican Glenn Youngkin is continuing to rally anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ extremists in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor. Most Virginians support legal equality, including marriage equality, and most Virginians believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, but Youngkin continues to seek and tout endorsements from groups that oppose LGBTQ equality and want to make abortion illegal. Youngkin has told activists that he will go “on offense” against reproductive choice once elected, and he has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.
In a press release dated Oct. 8, Youngkin boasted about endorsements from the Family Research Council’s political arm, the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, and longtime anti-abortion and anti-equality activist Penny Nance, head of Concerned Women for America.
FRC supports “total abortion bans” that criminalize abortion at all stages. The organization has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has long promoted anti-Muslim bigotry. None of that kept Youngkin from agreeing to speak at FRC’s annual conference for religious-right activists earlier this month, where speakers delivered Christian nationalist and bigoted messages. Delivering his own speech, Youngkin urged the activists, “Lock arms with me!”
A Youngkin campaign press release touting the latest endorsements included a long quote from FRC’s Tony Perkins smearing the Democratic nominee as a threat to religious freedom and claiming that Youngkin “understands the values that are important to Virginians.”
Nance has devoted much of her professional life to making abortion illegal and worked tirelessly to help former President Donald Trump pack the Supreme Court and other federal courts with like-minded judges. She spearheaded a $500,000 campaign backing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Nance is also a strident opponent of LGBTQ equality, even opposingreauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because CWA claimed it would create “new protections for homosexuals.” When the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at a gay couple’s wedding, Nance sent an email with the subject line, “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg.”
Even though Virginians soundly rejected Trump, Nance claimed that the Trump-endorsed Youngkin will “uphold the values of Virginians.”
The Virginia Society for Human Life is an affiliate of National Right to Life, which supports abortion bans, including the recent extreme Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks and is now being challenged in federal courts. In September, Youngkin’s campaign touted National Right to Life’s endorsement, along with that of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Greene Goes on Twitter Rampage Promising to ‘Take Back the House’ by Endorsing Candidate Primarying a SC Republican
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is promising to “take back the House” by endorsing a candidate who is primarying a GOP Congressman in a safely-Republican district in South Carolina. If she’s successful and her candidate wins the primary and the November election she will have increased Republicans’ hold on the House by exactly zero seats.
“Repubs must take the House back & FIRE Nancy Pelosi in ‘22,” Greene tweeted Tuesday afternoon . “The only way to do that is w/ America First Repubs who fight & not cower in fear like so many spineless RINOs who care more about being liked by the Fake News & their Dem counterparts than they do about America First.”
The candidate she is endorsing, Graham Allen, is primarying U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, a hard core Republican who opposes masks and, along with his family, contracted COVID. Rice, first elected in 2012, did vote for Donald Trump’s second impeachment.
On his website Allen explains his reason for running for Congress: “Tom Rice abandoned his duty to represent the conscience of the voters of his district when he sided with Nancy Pelosi to support the sham impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.”
Aside from a few words about protecting the First and Second Amendment, restoring “the integrity of our elections,” and defending “our country from foreign threats,” including bad trade deals and migrants at the border, Allen lists zero policy positions.
Greene also attacked Democrats, falsely claiming they “are no longer an American Party. They’re the party of woke corporate communism. They’re party of AOCs Green New Deal which enslaves us to cheap Chinese energy. They’re the party of skyrocketing inflation, illegal invasion at the border, vaccine mandates & election fraud,” all of which are false.
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