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18 States Just Stood Up For Transgender Students At The Supreme Court
“Discrimination against transgender people ... serves only to injure a group that is feared for being different.”
By Dominic Holden

California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Portrait of two unidentified Pawnee chiefs probably taken at Mathew Brady’s studio in Washington, D.C., c. 1860. They were members of a large Native American delegation to visit the White House. By Mathew Brady.


How to Make the Electoral College Irrelevant

We must make sure our democracy doesn’t ever again elect a candidate who loses the popular vote. That means making the Electoral College irrelevant.

Here’s how: As you probably know, the Constitution assigns each state a number of electors based on the state’s population. The total number of electors is 538, so any candidate who gets 270 of those Electoral College votes becomes president.

Article II of the Constitution says states can award their electors any way they want. So all that’s needed in order to make the Electoral College irrelevant is for states with a total of at least 270 electors to agree to award all their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.

If they do that, then automatically the winner of the popular vote gets the 270 electoral college votes he or she needs to become president.  

Already 10 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to do this – awarding all their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote, as soon as the 270 elector goal is met. Together, these states total 165 electoral votes.

So all we need now is some additional states with 105 electors to pass the same law, agreeing to reward all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote – and it’s done. We’ll never again elect a president who loses the popular vote.

The effort is known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. If your state hasn’t yet joined on, make sure it does.

Supreme Court dismisses challenge to California ban on conversion therapy
The practice has been illegal in the state since 2012.

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to California’s ban on anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors, which was brought by a Christian minister who tried to undo the law on religious grounds. 

California’s law has been in place since 2012. This is the second time in three years that SCOTUS has turned away a challenge to the law, which a lower court has already ruled is constitutional and does not infringe upon the free expression of religion (which some religious conservatives say it does).

The law prohibits state-licensed mental health counselors, including psychologists and social workers, from offering therapy to change sexual orientation in minors. The Supreme Court in 2014 refused to review the law after an appeals court rejected claims that the ban infringed on free speech rights under U.S. Constitution’s the First Amendment.

California outlawed gay conversion therapy in 2012, calling it ineffective and harmful. New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and the District of Columbia have similar laws on the books, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The Supreme Court turned away a challenge to New Jersey’s law in 2015.

Good good. No need to debate this one any longer.