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October 2017 Archives

Court Blocks Trump's Transgender Military Ban

As a federal judge blocked President Trump's order against transgender people in the military, his transgender ban and travel bans started to sound alike.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued an injunction against Trump's directive on transgender military members, which he had dumbed down after a political backlash in July. Instead of a ban, the President said in August that transgender service members could be discharged.

It's more of the same, however, as the courts have pushed back repeatedly against the President's executive orders. Assuming more of his advisers are not indicted, Trump will probably appeal.

Court Allows Undocumented Teen to Get Abortion

A pregnant teenager illegally entered the United States and sought an abortion.

But federal authorities in Texas detained her and denied her access to abortion services. Two months later -- and 15 weeks pregnant -- a federal appeals court has granted her plea.

"Surely the mere act of entry into the United States without documentation does not mean that an immigrant's body is no longer her or his own," Judge Patricia Millett wrote in Garza v. Hargan.

English-Only Emergency Alerts Backed by Circuit Court

The hurricane was long gone by the time the plaintiffs got to court.

They petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to order broadcasters to issue warnings in multiple languages. After all, the storm had destroyed many immigrant communities.

But the FCC tabled the idea for non-English alerts, and now a federal appeals court has upheld that decision. That was for Hurricane Katrina -- 12 years ago.

In what has come as a surprise to many gun control advocates, the District of Columbia's attorney general has announced that the district will not be appealing the decision to strike down their concealed carry permit scheme to the Supreme Court.

The decision not to file the SCOTUS appeal, though disappointing to many, provides some limited peace of mind to other jurisdictions across the country that have imposed similar restrictions on concealed carry permits. D.C. AG Karl Racine explained that the D.C. Circuit opinion may be bad for D.C., but if SCOTUS upheld the circuit opinion, it would be devastating for the entire nation, as that precedent would be binding nationwide.

DC Circuit Lets Stand Concealed-Carry Law

Following a discharge from an appeals court, a shoot-out over permits to carry guns in public appears headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected a request to reconsider its previous decision, which upheld a local permit law. The law gives wide discretion to law enforcement to grant permits to applicants who show "good reason" to carry guns.

Opponents believe the Supreme Court will take up the case, but for now they have lost at every level of the judicial system.