November 28, 2017

Federal District Courts Stand Firm in Striking Down the Ban on Transgendered Persons Serving in the Military, Wide Outrage Over Racist “Pocahontas” Remark at White House Native-American Event, and #GivingTuesday

Judge Colleen Koilar-Kotelly clarified her earlier order granting a preliminary injunction prohibiting the military from refusing to enlist transgendered individuals. In her prior ruling Koiler-Kotelly, who sits in the Washington D.C. federal district court, found that the purpose of the ban was “disapproval of transgender people generally.” She also found that the reasons given for the ban “do not appear to be supported by any facts.” Similarly, Judge Marvis J. Garvis, sitting in a federal district court in Baltimore, Maryland, recently issued a preliminary junction noting the “capricious, arbitrary” nature of the ban.  Judge Garvis’ 53-page Opinion can be found here

At a White House event honoring native-American veterans, specifically including Navaho “code-talkers,” who served in World War II, President Trump renewed his jab at Senator Elizabeth Warren, by calling her “Pocahontas.” The derogatory remark was met with silence by attendees. It also sparked immediate outrage from a wide spectrum of individuals, including not only the family members of the native-American in attendance, but numerous other civic and political leaders such as Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, Senators John McCain and Elizabeth Warren, and other members of Congress.

And on an up-beat note, today is #GivingTuesday. Have you done your part? If you are looking to donate to our Loyola clinics, you can do so here. And that reminds us of the shout-out by #EQ4ALL@LLS family-member Reichen Kuhl for Amazon.smile. By switching to Amazon.smile prior to checking out, Amazon donates a small portion of your purchase price to a charity of your choice. Why not make a difference? 

Happy Holidays!      

      

November 17, 2017

#METOO Hits Capitol Hill, Country Music Stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw Call for Bi-Partisan Support for Gun Control, and Our First Years Close In On Finishing Graded II!

Congresswoman Jackie Speier held a press conference to call attention to sexual harassment in Congress. Without naming names, Speier took a bi-partisan approach by noting that there were two major culprits, one Democrat and one Republican. Joined by several other congressional members, Speier also introduced a bipartisan bill that would overhaul the complaint and review process to better protect victims. The bill is entitled the “Member and Employee Training and Oversight on Congress Act,” or the METOO Act, an homage to the popular social media campaign, #METOO, that promotes the sharing of stories of sexual harassment.

Country music icons Faith Hill and Tim McGraw also hopped on the bipartisan wagon when they made a public appeal for “common sense” gun control. The popular couple made their remarks in a Billboard interview after the Las Vegas massacre that took the lives of 58 attendees at a country music festival. The Country Music Association (CMA) tried to sidestep the issue by imposing a media ban on the topic of gun control just prior to the CMA Awards. That decision was reversed within two hours of a negative tweet by host Brad Paisley. The annual show – watched by millions worldwide – included a touching appeal by both Paisley and co-host Carrie Underwood referencing the upturn in senseless violence as well as other tragedies recently affecting America. Paisley and Underwood mentioned not only the Las Vegas massacre and the slew of hurricanes battering Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, but also the events at Charlottesville. The CMA Awards included several other open appeals for inclusion, including Paisley rocking a tee-shirt bearing the simple message “UNITY.”

On the local front, Loyola’s first-years are closing in on their final major legal writing assignment for the fall semester. And midterms / finals are just around the corner. Congrats to all for studying so hard and still managing to find time to fight for equality and equity for all. 

Editor’s Note: Kudos to Paisley, Underwood and the CMA Awards for promoting inclusion. Gotta say, this writer also really liked the music!

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