Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Muslim Ban Takes a Hit in Virginia, But Texas Leaps to Defend It

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

Despite the fact that the Trump administration has yet to score a legal victory in defending its Muslim ban, attorneys from the state of Texas want in on the case.

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

Donald Trump keeps losing “bigly” in the legal fight over his Muslim ban, this time in Virginia.

Texas became the first state to back the Trump administration in its losing battle to defend the Muslim ban.

Speaking of Texas, a federal court just sanctioned attorneys representing the state in a lawsuit challenging restrictions on voter registration for ignoring a court order to turn over documents related to the case.

Trump hasn’t yet faced any legal challenges to the myriad conflicts of interest he faces for not divesting from his business interests, but that could soon change.

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wants to see more legal protections for doctors who object to abortion.

Anti-choice protesters can proceed with a lawsuit claiming their constitutional rights were violated because officials at the State University of New York at Buffalo failed to do enough to keep pro-choice counter-protesters at bay.

Colorado State University (CSU) temporarily suspended its Diversity Grant program after the Alliance Defending Freedom sued the university on behalf of the CSU chapter of Students for Life, alleging the group was denied money from the program it was planning to use to bring an anti-choice speaker to campus.

According to the New York Times, Merrick Garland has reached the “acceptance” stage of grief over his failed Supreme Court nomination.

This Washington Post piece says what we at Rewire have said from the beginning: Judge Neil Gorsuch is far more conservative than Scalia. And we think that means his nomination should be blocked.

In addition to nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump is reportedly looking at some new candidates to fill openings on the conservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Among those in the running is Texas federal district judge Reed O’Connor. O’Connor is responsible for blocking the Obama administration’s Title IX guidance requiring schools that receive federal funding to allow transgender students to use facilities that align with their gender identity rather than their biological sex, and he’s also blocked anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Florida physicians can discuss gun safety with their patients, ruling the state’s gun-gag rule on doctors violated the First Amendment. Judge William Pryor, a Trump Supreme Court short-lister, defended a doctor’s right to talk about gun safety but also said they must be protected from talking about abortion, framing the entire debate around free speech rights of doctors in terms of religious objections.

This story is horrifying: A New York judge ordered a mother of four with a substance use disorder to not get pregnant again until she regains custody of one of her children.

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