Gavel Drop: Post-Election Fights Over LGBTQ Rights Heat Back Up

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Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Post-Election Fights Over LGBTQ Rights Heat Back Up

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

A challenge to North Carolina's HB 2 is put on hold while court watchers wait to see any moves from the U.S. Supreme Court on another transgender "bathroom bill" case. And in Indiana, conservative groups are taking aim at local ordinances protecting LGBTQ rights. Meanwhile, an Indiana claims a religious right to not play taxes, but doesn't say what his religion is.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

A judge has postponed the trial over North Carolina’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill” until at least next summer while the U.S. Supreme Court considers the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender Virginia student who sued to have access to school bathrooms that align with his gender identity.

Trump’s impending presidency threatens at least a dozen executive orders put in place by President Obama.

Some good news from the election: Judges who have supported abortion rights in both Alaska and Kansas kept their seats despite concerted efforts by anti-choice groups to oust them.

The Dayton, Ohio, metropolitan area faces the loss of its only abortion clinic after officials again refused to grant it the necessary licensing variance.

A Colorado judge ruled Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the admitted Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooter, remains not legally competent to stand trial, but refused a request by Dear’s attorneys to block their client from speaking to the press.

The National Review is really pleased with Donald Trump’s potential Supreme Court picks.

An Indiana man is arguing that paying taxes is against his religious beliefs and citing the state’s expansive Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as his authority in refusing to pay. But there’s a big catch with this one: He failed to say exactly what his religion is.

Also in Indiana, conservative groups—including the Indiana Family Institute and the American Family Association of Indiana—are suing to block several local ordinances that protect LGBTQ rights after passage of Indiana’s RFRA sought to undo all LGBTQ civil rights.

However, a Utah federal court ruled that RFRA does not protect from fraud charges 11 members of a fundamentalist Mormon sect who argued their religion mandated members who receive food stamps donate those benefits to their church.

A Missouri appeals court ruled that frozen pre-embryos (created from sperm and an egg for in vitro fertilization, but not yet implanted), should be treated as marital property in a divorce proceeding and not “children.”

Another federal appeals court has ruled that Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Washington state Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of a florist who was sued for refusing to provide services for a same-sex wedding on the grounds that providing flowers for the event would violate her First Amendment rights.