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The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a National Labor Relations Board decision in favor of a wrongfully discharged employee. The story is making headlines due to the fact that the fired employee used a few choice phrases to describe his supervisor in a public Facebook post. Those choice phrases are of the type that most office workers would expect to result in immediate termination.

However, thanks to the laws prohibiting retaliation against employees engaged in pro-union activities, and the common sense of the NLRB and the court, the opprobrious comment qualified as protected pro-union speech. Though most of the Facebook post exclaimed profanities about this supervisor, there was a legitimate criticism and a call to action for people to vote to unionize. Thank goodness for this prolific employee that Facebook doesn't have a 140 character limit.

Texas Senate Bill 14, which Governor Rick Perry signed into Texas law in 2011, was struck down by the courts, again. The ruling specifically explained that the voter ID initiative violated the Voting Rights Act due to the discriminatory purpose of the law. While the Fifth Circuit essentially made the same finding last July, it remanded the case to District Court to reconsider in light of some evidentiary rulings.

The court found that "a discriminatory purpose was at least one of the substantial or motivating factors behind the passage of SB 14." The court pointed out that one of the state's alleged stated purposes for the law, to prevent voter fraud, was clearly a pretext as only two convictions of voter fraud were made over the past decade with over 20 million votes cast in Texas. The court found the state's other defenses of non-discriminatory purpose similarly unconvincing.

When Gavin Grimm sued the Gloucester County School District, he was seeking an order that allowed him to use the boy's restroom at his school in accordance with his gender identity. Although he won that order in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last year, the order was vacated last week following a quick and inconclusive visit to the Supreme Court.

Thus Grimm's case ends without a definitive ruling on transgender bathroom access, and he will be denied access to the boy's bathroom for the rest of his high school career. But two judges from the Fourth Circuit took the opportunity to praise Grimm's courage and place his legal struggle alongside those or other famous civil rights litigants. "G.G. adds his name to the list of plaintiffs whose struggle for justice has been delayed and rebuffed," wrote Judge Andre Davis. "[A]s Dr. King reminded us, however, 'the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' G.G.'s journey is delayed but not finished."

The Federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an important ruling regarding a hotly contested issue: federal discrimination protections for LGBT employees. While many states already provide legal protections for LGBT employees who suffer discrimination based upon their sexual orientation, it is not a settled issue whether Title VII provides any protection.

The Seventh Circuit's ruling found that the protections for sex discrimination listed in Title VII do protect LGBT employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. While other courts have agreed with this interpretation of Title VII, several have not despite the fact that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has considered LGBT individuals to be protected since 2015.

A federal district court in the state of Kentucky ruled last Friday that a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, the Trump campaign, and other individuals, can proceed. The defendants sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, but were only successful in each having one claim dismissed, despite each being sued under multiple claims.

The lawsuit stems from a March 2016 campaign rally where three protesters were forcibly removed from the audience after Trump stated: "Get 'em out of here." The lawsuit requests damages for injuries stemming from the removal, as well as punitive damages.

The Supreme Court this morning declined to make a definitive ruling on whether transgender students in public schools have a right to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity. The decision comes less than two weeks after the Trump Administration rescinded Department of Education guidance on the matter. Instead, the Court vacated a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, which had used Obama-era guidance to find in favor of a student identifying as male requesting access to male bathrooms.

So what does the ruling mean for the student, and for future transgender rights cases?

In a recent opinion, issued last week, by the Arkansas Supreme Court, a city's local civil rights law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination was put in peril. The court's decision is not the final nail in the proverbial coffin, as they have ordered the lower court to reconsider their ruling based upon their order. As such, supporters of the local anti-discrimination statute are gearing up to fight it out again.

The challenged anti-discrimination law was passed by voters in the city of Fayetteville, and essentially extended the same protections to LGBT individuals as provided to the protected classes listed in the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993. While the law was passed by local voters, and seems to reflect positively on the voters of Fayetteville, unfortunately, the law is facing a rather large technical hurdle.

Although Planned Parenthood is no stranger to controversy, their 30 health centers in the Texas are likely breathing a collective sigh of relief this week, as are the individuals they serve. A federal judge put a temporary halt to the Medicaid funding termination notice issued to Texas Planned Parenthood, because the state claimed that the organization was unqualified.

Gun control is a divisive subject. Although the right to bear arms is rooted in the U.S. Constitution, even Yosemite Sam would agree that guns have changed quite a bit since 1787. In fact, the recent ruling by the Federal Appeals Court in the Fourth Circuit has distinguished that a certain class of gun does not even qualify for protection under the Second Amendment.

The ruling, announced this past Tuesday, is sure to make waves and be challenged to the Supreme Court. Whether SCOTUS decides to take the case up will be closely watched by both pro- and anti-gun control advocates, as well as the several states that have passed gun control and restriction laws.

News broke this week that city officials in Baltimore have approved the $300,000 wrongful death settlement for the family of Anthony Anderson. The tragic death can be described as nothing other than police brutality and excessive force, based upon the statements of the witnesses who witnessed the violent encounter.

The settlement comes nearly five years after Mr. Anderson's death in 2012, which the medical examiner ruled was a homicide. However, the family hopes that the officers involved would be held personally and criminally accountable for their actions never materialized as the officers were cleared of wrongdoing. This settlement comes after the multi-million dollar Freddie Gray settlement.