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Judge grants nationwide injunction to halt Obama’s transgender bathroom policy

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A U.S. judge blocked Obama administration guidance that transgender public school students must be allowed to use bathrooms of their choice, granting a nationwide injunction sought by a group of 13 states led by Texas.

Reed O’Connor, a judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in a decision late on Sunday that the Obama administration did not follow proper procedures for notice and comment in issuing the guidelines. He said the guidelines contradict with existing legislative and regulatory texts.

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O’Connor, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, said the guidelines from the defendants, which included the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, were legislative and substantive.

“Although Defendants have characterized the Guidelines as interpretive, post-guidance events and their actual legal effect prove that they are ‘compulsory in nature,'” he wrote.

The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican who frequently sues the Democratic Obama administration, said he was pleased with a decision against “illegal federal overreach.”

At a hearing on the injunction in Fort Worth on Aug. 12, lawyers for Texas said the guidelines usurp the authority of school districts nationwide. They said they were at risk of losing billions of dollars in federal funding for education if they did not comply.

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U.S. Department of Justice lawyers sought to dismiss the injunction, saying the federal guidelines issued in May were non-binding with no legal consequences.

The guidance issued by the Justice Department and Education Department said public schools must allow transgender students to use bathrooms, locker rooms and other intimate facilities that correspond with their gender identity, as opposed to their birth gender, or face the loss of federal funds.

Under the injunction, the Obama administration is prohibited from enforcing the guidelines on “against plaintiffs and their respective schools, school boards, and other public, educationally based institutions,” O’Connor wrote.

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Following milestone achievements in gay rights including same-sex marriage becoming legal nationwide in 2015, transgender rights have become an increasingly contentious issue in the United States. The use of public bathrooms has been a key element in the controversy.

The administration’s directive enraged conservatives who say federal civil rights protections encompass biological sex, not gender identity.

The other states in the Texas-led suit are Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Maine, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky. Ten other states have also separately sued over the guidelines.

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(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott)


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BUSTED: NC GOP senator announces retirement after getting caught on video gerrymandering his district

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North Carolina Republican state Sen. John Alexander has announced that he will not seek re-election after he was caught trying to gerrymander his own district.

Alexander made the announcement on Thursday after he was seen on video Wednesday making changes that would have made his district a safe Republican seat while representing many Democrats in the Raleigh area.

The changes were pointed out on Twitter by John Bisognano, executive director of National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

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Trump’s ‘white superiority complex’ undermines the rule of law in America: black former Republican

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Gregory Cheadle, a black former Republican who attended a Trump rally in 2016 and was infamously praised by then-candidate Donald Trump as “my African American," appeared on MSNBC on Monday to explain why he can no longer support the GOP.

Cheadle said that he doesn't believe the president flat-out hates black people like former KKK leader David Duke, but he does believe Trump has what he described as a "white superiority complex" that only makes minorities feel the system is rigged against them.

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Meghan McCain roasts Laura Ingraham for fat-shaming her: ‘I’m on The View — and you’re not’

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Meghan McCain mocked former Fox News colleague Laura Ingraham after the conservative broadcaster shamed her as too fat for television.

"The View" panelists discussed a viral video of "Late Late Show" host James Corden calling out HBO's Bill Maher for shaming overweight people, and McCain discussed her own struggles with weight.

"I want to say if I weren't fat-shamed, I wouldn't have a career," McCain said. "Laura Ingraham said I was too plus-sized to have a career. Shout out, Laura -- I'm on 'The View' and you're not."

The audience cheered her slam on Ingraham, and she said that same dynamic had worked at the start of her tenure on the talk show.

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