Federal Appeals Court Upholds Nationwide Ban On Trump’s Travel Ban

Get ready for a new Twitter rant from Donald Trump.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Virginia, has upheld an injunction against President Trump’s travel ban from six Muslim-majority countries.

The executive order would have banned people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.

As I recall, the point of the “ban” was to give the Trump administration time to examine ways to improve national security. But, hasn’t it been more than 90 days by now anyway? Haven’t they figured out what it was they wanted to figure out?

The ruling notes that Trump’s executive order “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”

See the text below.

4th Circuit Court Of Appeals Denies Stay Motion On Transgender Rights Ruling

A three-judge panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just denied the stay motion, by a vote of 2-1, filed Wednesday by Virginia’s Gloucester County School Board, which seeks to ignore the federal government’s mandate on transgender student rights.

That filing two days ago had triggered an automatic stay on the pro-trans April order while the Court considered their demand.

Equality Case Files has today’s ruling. The Fourth Circuit Court has jurisdiction over Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation HB2 could be struck down via this case.

Stay tuned.

North Carolina Gov. McCrory Angry 4th Circuit Appeals Court Denies Rehearing

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued this angry statement in response to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals denial to rehear a case regarding transgender rights decided in April.

“School systems throughout our nation should be allowed to make sensible accommodations for students whose gender identity conflicts with their own physical anatomy. Yet the extreme Obama courts and administration deny this common sense flexibility at the expense of privacy for millions of boys and girls in our schools’ restrooms, locker room and shower facilities.

“It’s unfortunate that our attorney general Roy Cooper didn’t join us to pretect the expectation of privacy for our children.

“As Judge Niemeyer notes in his opinion, ‘…they can override these provisions by redefining sex to mean how any given person identifies himself or her self at any given time, thereby, of necessity, denying all affected persons the dignity and freedom of bodily privacy.’

“He went on to say, and I agree, ‘…the momentous nature of this issue deserves an open road to the Supreme Court to seek the Court’s controlling construction of Title IX for national application.’

“Alternatively, the U.S. Congress could take action to clarify the scope of federal anti-discrimination laws so there is consistent application across our country.”

The original case was brought by a transgender student, Gavin Grimm, against the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia, which enacted a policy restricting students to restrooms aligned with their “biological gender.,” and not their gender identity.

Grimm said in a statement, “Now that the Fourth Circuit’s decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys’ restroom. Transgender kids should not have to sue their own school boards just for the ability to use the same restrooms as everyone else.”

Because the ruling was issued by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and North Carolina is subject to rulings of the 4th, North Carolina may well see it’s hateful HB2 go down.

I fully expect this case to head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules Title IX Protects Transgender People Against Discrimination

A 2-1 ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments which bans sex discrimination.

The Obama administration has pushed for years that, under this existing law, transgender discrimination is sex discrimination, and thereby covered under Title IX.

Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed writes:

The Gloucester County School Board, however, passed a policy that restricts students to restrooms reflecting their “biological gender.” The transgender student who was targeted by the policy, Gavin Grimm, brought this lawsuit in federal court, seeking an injunction against enforcement of the board’s policy.

The appeals court had heard the arguments in January, and Tuesday’s ruling is the first such ruling on the Obama administration’s policy — which it also has advanced regarding the sex discrimination ban under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Among the states included in the 4th Circuit is North Carolina, which recently passed a law limiting restroom use in government facilities — including schools and universities — to that which corresponds with a person’s “biological sex.” The ACLU, which is backing Grimm’s suit, also has brought suit against the North Carolina law.

The appeals court first held that the language of regulations implementing Title IX were ambiguous as to transgender restroom use and then finding that the department’s interpretation of those regulations — allowing transgender students to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity — was a legitimate interpretation.

“We conclude that the Department’s interpretation of its own regulation … as it relates to restroom access by transgender individuals, is entitled to … deference and is to be accorded controlling weight in this case,” Judge Henry Floyd wrote for the court.

The appeals court did not, however, grant the preliminary injunction Grimm is seeking, instead sending the case back to the district court to reconsider his request.

Did I mention that North Carolina is in the 4th Circuit? Did I mention that federal law trumps state laws?

UPDATE – North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory got the memo. Check his response below:

South Carolina AG Asks Fourth Circuit Court To Pause On Same-Sex Marriage Appeal

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has already asked the 4th Circuit to consider his request for appeal of the overturning of his state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Yesterday, however, he changed course and petitioned the Fourth Circuit Court to NOT rule on his previous marriage appeal until the Supreme Court issues a decision on the cases out of Sixth Circuit.

What Wilson, and Attorneys General in other states, is attempting to do is keep his options open so that should SCOTUS rule against marriage equality via the 6th Circuit cases, he can undo the ruling on his state.

Equality Case Files shares the request here.

West Virginia Drops Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage

In light of the recent decisions by SCOTUS and the 4th Circuit Court, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has announced that he will no longer defend his state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Gov. Earl Ray has ordered the issuing of marriage licenses.

Morrisey’s office indicates the attorney general disagrees with the Supreme Court decision, but respects that it sets legal precedent for West Virginia.

“While we disagree and believe it improperly displaces state and local decision-making, we will respect it,” he said in the prepared release.

“It is my duty to defend state laws that have been passed by the state Legislature and are consistent with the Constitution. We have discharged this duty faithfully.”

There were no immediate details released regarding when marriage licenses will be issued to same-sex couples, although Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a press release indicating he has directed state agencies to comply.

“Recent rulings make it clear that laws banning same-sex marriage have been declared unconstitutional,” Tomblin said in a prepared release.

“Our state is known for its kindness and hospitality to residents and visitors alike. I encourage all West Virginians—regardless of their personal beliefs—to uphold our statewide tradition of treating one another with dignity and respect.”

(via JMG)

West Virginia Court Extends Stay of 4th Circuit Court Ruling On Marriage Equality

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling on July 28th in the case of Bostic v. Schaefer which held that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional based on the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Now, a US District Court in West Virginia has extended the stay on that ruling until the US Supreme Court weighs in yay or nay on the issue due to overlap with another case before the West Virginia Court.

As we are all learning when it comes to the law and gay rights – “gay means stay.” Indefinitely.

See the ruling below.

Virginia: Alliance Defending Freedom asks SCOTUS to stay 4th Circuit’s same-sex marriage ruling

And… right on cue, the viciously anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom has filed an official request asking the US Supreme Court to stay the 4th Circuit of Appeals ruling which says Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

The request is predicated on the idea that there is a “fair prospect” that SCOTUS will overturn the Fourth Circuit and so, no marriages should take place until that happens.

Or else there will be “irreparable harm.” See the full brief below.

Should SCOTUS does not act on this request, same-sex marriages will begin next Thursday in Virginia at 8AM.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denies stay on same-sex marriage ruling

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, gay and lesbian couples in Virginia will be able to marry on Monday after a ruling today from the Fourth Circuit court of appeals.

On July 28th, the 4th Circuit Court affirmed a lower courts ruling that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

The court has now denied, by a vote of 2-1, a stay on the ruling, meaning marriage equality will begin as soon as Monday if SCOTUS doesn’t intervene.

More from the AP.

See the order from the 4th Circuit below: