A federal district court judge has issued a temporary block against President Joe Biden, stopping the administration from enforcing LGBTQ civil rights protections in employment and education the President had put into place upon taking office. That order comes in response to a lawsuit filed by 20 right wing state attorneys general.
Judge Charles E. Atchley Jr., who took his seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee less than one month before Donald Trump left office, ordered the the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to cease implementation of the protections that are consistent with a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. That 2020 ruling was authored by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, and found anti-LGBTQ discrimination is sex discrimination and prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and by the 1972 Title IX statute.
President Biden, upon taking office, had issued several critical executive orders protecting LGBTQ people.
On his first day in office President Biden signed a landmark executive order that was described as “the most sweeping expansion of LGBTQ rights in American history.”
Just one month ago, as NCRM reported, President Biden extended his executive order, declaring it is the policy of the United States Government to defend the “rights and safety” of LGBTQI+ individuals via another historic executive order that encompasses several executive branch agencies and extends that policy into international areas.
That new order effectively directs the federal government to use its resources to work to ban dangerous and harmful “conversion therapy” – not just in the U.S. but “around the world,” and to support and protect LGBTQIA+ youth and older LGBTQIA+ individuals in areas including health care, education, housing, and justice.
Reporting on Judge Atchley’s order blocking LGBTQ protections, The New York Times noted, “Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, writing for the majority, said that ‘it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.'”
“Before that decision,” the paper added, “it was legal in more than half of the states to fire workers for being gay, bisexual or transgender.”
The Times also quotes Jennifer C. Pizer, the acting chief legal officer of Lambda Legal, who said of the right wing attorneys general lawsuit, that “for these many states to argue so aggressively that they must be free to discriminate against their own residents is alarming and appalling.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
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‘Denied’: Trump Just Lost Big at the Supreme Court Over His Tax Returns
The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon rejected a request from Donald Trump, asking that it block a lower court ruling ordering that six years of the former president’s tax returns be given to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Trump has been battling the Committee for three years.
The order says Chief Justice John Roberts referred Trump’s request to the full Court. It does not say if any justices agreed with Trump.
“The application for stay of the mandate presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied. The order heretofore entered by The Chief Justice is vacated,” the ruling reads.
But Democrats need to move quickly.
“The decision by the court in a brief order noting no dissenting votes means the committee can try to access the documents ahead of the Republican take-over of the House in January,” NBC News notes. “The committee, however, has not said how quickly it expects to get the documents. Upon taking control, Republicans are expected to withdraw the request.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Image: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour
Far Right J6 Rioter Who Attacked Pelosi’s Office ‘Surprised’ as Judge Sends Her Directly to Jail After Verdict: Report
A federal judge on Monday wasted no time incarcerating Riley Williams, ordering U.S. Marshals to take into custody the Pennsylvania woman immediately after the jury handed down guilty verdicts in six of the eight charges in her January 6 Capitol riot trial.
Politico reports jurors convicted Williams, who was 22 on the day of the insurrection, on charges related to “participating in a civil disorder, impeding officers who tried to clear the Capitol Rotunda and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.”
“But the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on two of the central counts in the case: whether Williams ‘aided and abetted’ in the theft of a laptop from Pelosi’s office that the speaker used to make Zoom calls amid the Covid pandemic, and obstruction of Congress’ Jan. 6 proceeding — a felony that carries a 20-year maximum penalty.”
NBC News describes Williams as a “far-right extremist,” and reports she is “a devotee of Nick Fuentes and a far-right, white nationalist movement she is affiliated with called the ‘Groypers.'” Fuentes has been described as a Christian nationalist, white nationalist, and “white supremacist leader and organizer.”
Williams, The Washington Post reported last week, “was among a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the building while Congress was meeting to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, according to prosecutors. She is charged with eight crimes, including aiding and abetting the theft of a laptop that Pelosi (D-Calif.) used to conduct video conferences with U.S. and foreign officials.”
During the trial, “jurors were shown video of Williams exhorting rioters to push past security lines of police and climb stairs to the House speaker’s suite of offices. In his closing argument Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Dalke described Williams as a zealous instigator who helped ‘weaponize’ a seemingly rudderless crowd.”
Dalke also told jurors that the “danger of the mob is in the numbers, in the crush of people in that chaos.”
“And the danger is so much worse when someone … is focusing the power of that mob. Everywhere the defendant went on January 6th, she dialed up the chaos.”
CBS News Congressional Correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who’s been extensively covering the January 6 trials, reports: “Judge orders Riley Williams go directly to jail. She’ll be in US Marshals custody until her February sentencing. Her defense attorney tells me it’s a surprise to Williams.”
“Williams,” MacFarlane adds, “who’d successfully secured court permission to travel to multiple ‘Renaissance fairs’ pending trial & had brought pink purse to court, goes to jail. A man who was sitting in courtroom for her trial carried her purse outside. Her defense says ruling was shock to them.”
Image via Shutterstock
Watch: Merrick Garland Announces Trump’s Presidential Candidacy Announcement Influenced Him to Appoint Special Counsel
Attorney General Merrick Garland Friday afternoon announced he has appointed a special counsel to take over two of the criminal investigations into Donald Trump. Garland stressed that Donald Trump’s announcement this week was a large part of the reason he decided to appoint the special counsel.
“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”
Garland claimed the appointment of a special counsel, which several legal exerts urged him to not do, “underscores the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”
Garland: Based on recent development, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate… pic.twitter.com/832Zx4bWB3
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 18, 2022
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