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Justices Press Both Sides Hard in Wedding Cake Case

Justices Press Both Sides Hard in Wedding Cake Case

BY MATTHEW SKINNER | The courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States was the site on Tuesday of a high-stakes debate over the future of the right to refuse service or public accommodations based on religious grounds and the fate of American civil rights laws, as the justices questioned four attorneys at the oral […]

SCOTUS Won’t Step into Houston Benefits Case, For Now

SCOTUS Won’t Step into Houston Benefits Case, For Now

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On December 4, the US Supreme Court, without explanation, rejected a petition from the City of Houston seeking review of the Texas Supreme Court’s June 30 ruling in Pidgeon v. Turner, which had cast doubt on whether the city was obligated under Obergefell v. Hodges, the high court’s 2015 marriage equality […]

Texas’ Ex-Chief Justice Rebukes Court on Houston Benefits

Texas’ Ex-Chief Justice Rebukes Court on Houston Benefits

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On June 30, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling claiming the US Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell marriage equality decision did not necessarily require state and local governments to treat same-sex and different-sex marriages the same for government employee benefits purposes. On September 15, asserting that his old court’s decision was […]

LGBTQ Legal Groups On the Offensive

LGBTQ Legal Groups On the Offensive

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | LGBTQ legal groups last week went on the offensive, filing important new lawsuits seeking injunctions against government discrimination. GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) sued Donald Trump and Defense Department officials on August 9, attempting to put a halt to the president’s attempt […]

Court Must Decide If Gavin Grimm’s Case Is Moot

Court Must Decide If Gavin Grimm’s Case Is Moot

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | In what could signal a disappointing end to a remarkable battle for transgender equality, the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that instead of holding oral argument in Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit challenging the Gloucester County, Virginia, School Board’s bathroom access policy, it is sending the case back to the […]

Texas High Court Leaves Open 2015 Marriage Equality Ruling’s Meaning

Texas High Court Leaves Open 2015 Marriage Equality Ruling’s Meaning

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | In a clear misreading of the US Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges from 2015 — especially as elucidated just days ago by the high court in its Arkansas birth certificate ruling in Pavan v. Smith — the Texas Supreme Court, on June 30, unanimously refused to dismiss a […]

SCOTUS Rules for Same-Sex Spouses in Birth Certificate Case

SCOTUS Rules for Same-Sex Spouses in Birth Certificate Case

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | In the final day of its term, the US Supreme Court ruled that when a child is born to a woman married to another woman, both women should be listed as parents on the child’s birth certificate. The 6-3 ruling in Pavan v. Smith on June 26 reversed a decision by […]

Court Finds Equal Protection Grounds for Bathroom Access

Court Finds Equal Protection Grounds for Bathroom Access

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | In granting a preliminary injunction to three transgender high school students represented by Lambda Legal who are challenging a school board policy barring them from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identities, a federal judge, on February 27, broke new ground in relying on the US Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. […]

Sessions Quickly Begins Retreat on LGBTQ Rights

Sessions Quickly Begins Retreat on LGBTQ Rights

BY PAUL SCHINDLER | In a clear and disturbing sign that the Justice Department is in full retreat from the Obama administration’s advocacy for transgender students — and trans people, generally — Attorney General Jeff Sessions last Friday evening, just one day after being sworn in, notified the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals the department was […]

How Texas Governor Hopes to Undo Marriage Equality

How Texas Governor Hopes to Undo Marriage Equality

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Conservatives eager to bring the marriage equality issue back to the US Supreme Court after President Donald Trump has the opportunity to appoint some right-leaning justices may have found a vehicle in an employee benefits dispute from Houston. On January 20, Inauguration Day, the Texas Supreme Court announced it had “withdrawn” its […]

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