Supreme Court Won’t Hear Major Case on Transgender Rights
The justices vacated an appeal’s court decision in favor of a transgender boy, Gavin Grimm, and sent the case back for further consideration.
By Adam Liptak

What this is: Disappointing, infuriating, and a direct result of President Trump’s decision to withdraw President Obama’s previously issued guidance on transgender youth.  

What this isn’t: The end of the road. The past few months have seen a historic growth in support for transgender protections at the highest level. Thousands of individuals and organizations have signed on to the amicus briefs—major medical associations, unions representing millions of teachers, national religious leaders, elected officials at the local, state, and federal level, and ordinary citizens concerned about the rights and dignity of their fellow human beings.

This decision does not void any existing Title IX legal protections for transgender students, and similar cases regarding the fundamental rights of transgender students in schools are pending throughout the circuit courts.

The momentum on this issue is clear, and it isn’t going to be readily reversed—at least not if we all continue to work for what’s right. We remain committed to standing with Gavin, to supporting the ACLU, and ultimately toward the passage of explicit, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ Americans. It’s more important now than ever before.

Here’s how you can keep up the fight:

And I just won five bucks.

Sen. Ben Sasse responded after Judge Neil Gorsuch made an inadvertent slip of the tongue, using one of Trump’s favorite campaign phrases — “bigly” (or “big league,” as Trump has clarified one of his oft-used adverbs). 

Gorsuch tried to correct himself by saying “big and boldly,” but Sasse wasn’t about to let it pass, as the room burst into laughter.
Supreme Court sends Gavin Grimm's civil rights case back to lower court
The Supreme Court on Monday sent a case involving a transgender high school student back to a lower court, a temporary setback for the student.
By Ariane de Vogue, Steve Vladeck and Theodore Schleifer, CNN

Gavin Grimm’s legal case for trans-affirming bathrooms hit a road bump yesterday; the Supreme Court announced that it would be sending the case back to a lower court. His case will likely now go before a court of appeals.

Last year, an appeals court ruled in favor of Gavin using the men’s bathrooms. His school board further appealed the case, seeking to take away Gavin’s right to use a gender-affirming bathroom. 

The lower court will now have to answer the bigger – and far more important – question of whether federal law and not just Executive Branch interpretations of it treat discrimination on the basis of gender identity as tantamount to sex discrimination. The Supreme Court’s announcement has the effect of letting a lower court answer that question first.

“While we’re disappointed that the Supreme Court will not be hearing Gavin’s case this term, the overwhelming level of support shown for Gavin and trans students by people across the country throughout this process shows that the American people have already moved in the right direction and that the rights of trans people cannot be ignored,” said Joshua Block, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Grimm. “This is a detour, not the end of the road, and we’ll continue to fight for Gavin and other transgender people to ensure that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

This is not over. And Gavin has more support than ever. 

Today in Politics: March 6, 2017
  • President Trump has a new, revised executive order which bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas. It won’t affect current visa holders and unlike the previous ban, it excludes citizens of Iraq. The executive order will be phased in over the next two weeks. (NYT)(WP)(ATL)(Raw Executive Order- White House)
  • The Supreme Court decided to not hear the case regarding transgender bathroom rights after the White House’s reversal of position, even though they agreed in October to hear the case. (NYT)(CNN)(WP)
  • House Republicans released the Affordable Care Act replacement bill called the American Health Care Act. The bill replaces federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies. The bill would also allow insurers a charge on people if they have had a gap in their health coverage. The GOP bill also includes a provision to strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood. (view bill)(WP)(CNN)(FOX)(NYT)
  • Today Ben Carson made some of his first remarks to Housing and Urban Development. “That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less,“. This comment, which compares slaves to immigrants, has been criticized by numerous members of the Black community as well as the NAACP. (WP)(HILL)(FOX)
  • Four Atlanta mosques receive death threats. They received a note that said, “Death is waiting for you and your kind” and included a hand-drawn picture of someone being beheaded. (CNN)(AJC)
Supreme Court Won’t Hear Major Case on Transgender Rights -

“The justices said Monday they have opted not to decide whether federal anti-discrimination law gives high school senior Gavin Grimm the right to use the boys’ bathroom in his Virginia school.”

Lee says:

This isn’t too great for those of us who had hopes for this case…


You need to know about Ohio’s new abortion bill that would ban abortion at six weeks, before many women even know they’re pregnant

North Dakota and Arkansas passed similar bills that were later struck down as incompatible with Roe v. Wade; the Supreme Court declined to hear any appeals, sending the signal that an Ohio law would meet the same fate. But Ohio’s conservative lawmakers see an opening after Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election last month. 


Protect Trans Kids

Yesterday the Departments of Education and Justice withdrew the protections that former President Obama had instated to protect transgender students. Under Title IX, these protections allowed transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, therefore protecting them from discrimination based upon sex. 

What you need to know as a trans person: Most importantly, even though the guidance has been withdrawn, that doesn’t change the fact that under Title IX, transgender students have a right to be treated according to their gender identity, including when it comes to restroom access. But taking the guidance away will likely make school harder for many students. It might make changing policies at unsupportive school districts an uphill battle for many students. Read this helpful FAQ page from the National Center for Transgender Equality on what this withdrawal means and how to address issues of discrimination here.  

How you can stand up and support trans people: It is more important than ever that cisgender people come forward as outspoken allies of transgender people. Advocate in your schools for gender neutral or all gender bathrooms where trans and gender non-conforming students will feel safe. Speak out if you see a transgender student being harassed or made to feel unwelcome in a restroom or locker room. If a trans student feels as though they are being discriminated against, stand by them and help them file a complaint. Lastly, read up on 10 tips for being a trans ally.

This all comes at a crucial time for trans rights, as the Supreme Court will be hearing the case of Gavin Grimm next month, which will likely inform how public schools will accommodate transgender students across the nation.
Unions Representing A Million Teachers Are Standing Up For This Transgender Student
They told the Supreme Court in a brief Thursday, “Educators are, above all, advocates and protectors of their students.”
By Dominic Holden

This is great news.

The brief makes a strong argument for why trans inclusion is vital for trans students and how it generally benefits school communities. That’s especially important coming from this wide ranging group of educators. But honestly I think the case for why trans students deserve these rights and protections is pretty strong. The bigger question is whether that protection can and should come through Title IX. That’s a harder argument (and the reason why this case is sitting before the Supreme Court). And what I think may be the most important part of this brief in making that determination is this section:

Should the Court conclude that transgender discrimination is prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX, the teacher’s duty is clear: address and report the harassment. But if the Court were to adopt the view of a minority of the lower courts—that Title IX may prohibit some but not all forms of discrimination against transgender students—then teachers are left in the lurch. What are their duties to transgender students and when are they triggered? Must teachers parse the harasser’s motivation to determine whether the harassment is motivated by sex stereotypes or transgender animus? This is complicated by Petitioner’s assertion that non-discrimination against transgender students “would perpetuate discrimination in a different form” against other students. If that were true, how would educators prevent and remedy sex stereotyping discrimination or harassment against transgender students while avoiding discrimination against others?

Making the case for clarity might just be significant nudge for a few (*cough* Kennedy *cough*) justices. And like with the Obergefell same-sex marriage ruling I’m hopeful that concerns raised over harm to students will win out over the case for letting this continue to play itself out across the country at the national, state, and local level. We’ll see how the Supreme Court views this soon. Hearing start on the 28th.

Thanks to the educators and school staff represented by the National Education Association; the American Federation of Teachers; the National Association of Secondary School Principals; the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; Service Employees International Union; and the School Social Work Association of America.

You’ve heard the stories of the coat hanger and the back alley, those bloody days before Roe v. Wade. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy told one recently at the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Neil M. Gorsuch. As a Vermont prosecutor in 1968, three years before the court struck down state abortion bans, cops woke Leahy up in the middle of the night, because “a young co-ed nearly died from bleeding from a botched abortion.” The senator’s drift was clear: If confirmed, Gorsuch could cast a vote, or several, to bring back those horrors (if not the archaic phrase “co-ed”). 

This is by now a rehearsed conflict. Mention dying women to antiabortion activists, and they insist that women weren’t prosecuted for having unlawful abortions before Roe v. Wade and won’t be if abortion is banned. Women, in this formulation, are victims of cruel abortionists. Indeed, Leahy wound up prosecuting the seedy go-between in that case, not the woman.

It is a curious but long-standing proposition by the antiabortion movement: Abortion is murder, but women shouldn’t be held accountable. Conservative groups were publicly aghast when candidate Donald Trump blurted out last year that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who get abortions if they’re banned. Eventually, Trump’s third and final statement that day declared: “The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb.”

Read more here: If abortions become illegal, here’s how the government will prosecute women who have them


In the Fall of 1969, students of Southwest Texas State University (TXST) protested for the immediate end of the Vietnam War. They were met with opposition, not just from other students, but from school administrators who made it incredibly difficult for them to assemble. Before one of their peaceful, quiet sit-in’s they were told they could only assemble when classes were not in session, meaning only from noon to 1 PM or after 4 PM. The students found this to be unfair and protested anyways. An estimated 70 students took part in the protest, and at one point had as many as 1,000 students halt to observe them. The University called the police and gave activists 3 minutes to all leave. All but 10 did. Those ten, known as the San Marcos 10, were then expelled from the university for one year, and went on to sue the school. They lost the case and the Supreme Court refused to hear it, but their demonstration will always be a huge part of TXST history.

it’s so humorous to me that the republicans keep complaining about how the dems are “being petty” or whatever for wanting to fully vet trumps cabinet like they didn’t defy the constitution and willfully block obama’s supreme court nominee hearing for over a year

anonymous asked:

what did chuck schumer do

In February of 2009, when Mitch McConnell, our infamous Senate Majority Leader, was the Senate Minority Leader, he sent the then Majority Leader, Harry Reid, a letter concerning President Obama’s Cabinet Nominees.

The letter outlined what McConnell considered to be the pre-requisites and protocol required to vet and confirm all of Obama’s nominees. 
It bears mentioning that McConnell sent Reid this list after most of Obama’s nominees were already confirmed by the Senate. 
His self-made list is almost identical to what the Democrats are currently requesting of the Republicans for the vetting and confirmation of Trump’s Cabinet nominees, a process which McConnell has made multiple statements about, where he accuses the Democrats of being “obstructionists” which is rather rich coming from the man who spent 8 years intentionally blocking everything Obama tried to accomplish and who has refused to follow the Constitution which he swore to uphold and allow for a Supreme Court Justice hearing for over a year now.

On Monday, January 9th, in the year of our Lord 2017, Chuck Schumer, the current Senate Minority Leader, tweeted this:

That’s right.

Chuck Schumer found McConnell’s 2009 letter to Reid, edited it by hand, and sent the damn thing back to McConnell. 

I cannot think of a more petty and iconic way to call out someone for being such a goddamn hypocrite. 

Legends only kids. Legends only.


Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to a buffer zone law that protects patients and staff at clinics in Massachusetts from anti-choice harassment and violence.

Across the country, extreme, often violent, anti-choice protesters physically block access to clinics and intimidate people exercising their constitutionally protected rights.  Learn more about this issue and the laws that exist to protect patients and their doctors.

anonymous asked:

what does homonormative mean?

homonormative is a term coined by Lisa Duggan* in her book The Twilight of Equality that is in reference to queer people, but especially cis gay people, maintaining systems of domination while seeking access to rights or opportunities they’re denied because of their sexuality. Here’s Duggan’s definition:

A politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions, but upholds and sustains them, while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and a privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption.

like basically neoliberal white gays contributing to the harm capitalism inflicts, and not fighting back against -isms. it’s like when LGBT gets interchanged with gay and when heteronormativity isn’t challenged but is instead something gays want to blend into. it’s uncritical assimilation into norms for relationships (such as gender roles, monogamy, alloromanticism and allosexuality, marriage and procreation/children as an end goal, domesticity in the suburbs, etc.). 

homonormativity is similar to liberal feminism in that both of them have end goals within oppressive structures rather than working to challenge or even dismantle those structures. much of the mainstream “equality”/gay marriage agenda is homonormative. that’s not to say that wanting marriage is a bad thing, since it is a form of discrimination and it also can be life-saving for people in dire financial circumstances, but rather that it should not be treated as an end goal and that the institution of marriage itself needs to be looked at critically, especially in relation to expectations of monogamy and gender roles (and gender in general) in relationships, and as a means of state surveillance.

(I firmly believe that part of activism includes reworking of existing structures as a means of making those structures less harmful while their dismantling is planned (such as creating more beneficial public policies and removing barriers for trans people to change their names and gender markers), but being critical of those structures is necessary throughout one’s activism, which is something absent from homonormativity.)

another big example of homonormativity in action is the recent prominence of queer (gay) gentrification in cities, where white queer people with financial means are pushing communities that are typically of color and of low SES out of areas as a type of clean up. there’s a neighborhood in San Francisco that’s historically queer, and in the past this included low SES people and homeless queers, but today that neighborhood has kicked homeless people out and is not even near affordable for people with the economic means of those who created the neighborhood. homonormativity by nature is whitewashed and racist, and is the major contributor to why the queer community is viewed by itself and those outside of it as predominantly white. homonormativity contributes to colorblind racism and is the root of phrases like “the new civil rights movement,” “gay is the new black,” and so on. part of this is also the white gay community’s tendency to demonize communities and cultures of color as being broadly homophobic.

homonormativity is related to neoliberalism, which is a newer development in (US) politics, but the attitudes typical to it have been around for ages. I’ve seen things from the 60s where white gays were insisting gay people blend in with straights as much as possible, and then counterpoints to that insisting that queer people maintain bold politics. because it’s related to neoliberalism it’s also related to business, as can be seen with companies like Target and Best Buy participating in pride parades, American Apparel’s “Legalize Gay” shirts, white, normative same-gender couples in advertising, and so on.

something important to note is that homonormativity tends to exclude trans people, and when it does include them it’s not very sensitive and seems intent on binarism and is surgery/medical transition/hormone-focused rather than focused on all trans and nonbinary people. trans people advocating for marriage equality during the Supreme Court hearings were told to be less visible by HRC people, and that organization itself has minimal, superficial trans resources.

I think this ask was in reference to me calling the couple from Modern Family homonormative, right? that show is very “look the gays are just like us,” including an episode that painted lesbian couples as uptight and antagonistic to ~fun~ gay men and lots of racist and classist jokes from the gay characters. it paints gay people as upper middle class and white and harmless to heteronormativity, in a way that’s detrimental to those with less privilege in the community and in a way that is not at all subversive. 

(also if my friends/followers who know the term feel that anything I wrote is inaccurate or that there’s more to add, feel free to jump on board this post.)

[EDIT: I feel like adding that homonormativity contributes to all forms of oppression, including an ableist neglect for the need for mental health care for our community, sexism which queer men contribute to, fat/body-shaming, and others I haven’t mentioned here.]

* Wikipedia says that it’s also a term trans activists used in the 90s to refer to cisgender gay people pushing cis gay-focused agendas onto trans communities.
Women Vote Differently Than Men. Do They Do So on the Supreme Court as Well?
Aug. 26 is Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the vote in 1920. As long ago as 1952, pollsters found a gender gap in how men and women vote, and the difference grew to serious proportions starting in 1984. Women first unambiguously...

“Just weeks after she joined the Supreme Court, she was hearing oral argument in a sexual harassment case in which the boss had told the plaintiff: “You’re a woman, what do you know?” Justice John Paul Stevens began joking with the defendant’s lawyer about an employer who might say “You’re a man, what do you know?” since, Stevens admitted, his wife often said such things to him. Ginsburg cut him off. “It’s hard to transpose like that,” Ginsburg interrupted briskly. “ ‘You’re a woman, what do you know?’ means something different than ‘You’re a man, what do you know?’ ” The guys in the Supreme Court might be yukking it up about how their wives henpecked them, but Ginsburg knew what the question meant to a woman trying to do her job in a world in which men held all the power.”

A destiel AU were Dean and Cas, plus all the gang (Sam, Jess, Charlie, Jo, Ellen, bobby, Rufus, Missouri, Gabe, Balt, Garth, Pam, ash and of course Mary) are all waiting outside of the Supreme Court to hear the verdict about legalizing same-sex marriage in the entire country. They are all holding their rainbow flags, sporting their love is love shirts and holding signs.

When the verdict is announced everyone there breaks in celebration. Cas and Dean immediately hold onto each other, kissing sweetly on the lips and tears streaming on their faces. Everyone is so happy, taking turns to congratulate them and any nearby couple.

Cas reaches for his pocket and tug Dean’s shirt. Dean was hugging Sam . When Dean turns Cas is on his knees and everyone there just hold their breath. Dean and Cas had agreed not to get married until every state made it legal. Dean is in shock, bug eyed, heart beating like taiko drums, eyes glued to Cas’ gorgeous face.

Cas smiles sweetly and holds up the ring, hands sweaty and tremulous.

“Dean Winchester, will you do me the honor of becoming my husband?”

Dean almost choked, passing the flag to Sam next to him without breaking eye contact with his man.

He leaned down close to Cas’s face, warm breath tilling his lips and then smiles “You bet your sexy ass I’ll give you that honor,” he said crashing their lips together.

Cas put the ring on Dean’s ring finger, gummy smile at full force. “Good, because it has been burning a hole in my pocket for more than 5 years,” he whispered. And Dean almost tackled him to the floor.

The end~

40% of all adults online have experienced harassment — but should it be protected by free speech?

Is online harassment actually dangerous? Or is the Internet just a virtual bathroom wall? As the Supreme Court considers arguments over whether Internet hate is protected by the Constitution, new data suggest trolling is more dangerous than we ever thought.

The Supreme Court is hearing the case