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Supreme Court rules 5-4 states can be sued for discriminating against Veterans

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A Supreme Court ruling released Tuesday sides with an Iraq War Veteran, determining that states cannot be exempt from being sued for discrimination against Veterans. CNN reports “The ruling will strengthen work protections for thousands of state-employed veterans returning to work after service in the Reserves or National Guard.”

LeRoy Torres enlisted in the US Army Reserve in 1989 and was an employee of the Texas Department of Public Safety as a state trooper before he was deployed to Iraq in 2007. While serving in the War, Torres suffered lung damage after being exposed to toxic chemicals in so called burn pits.

CNN reports that upon his return he sought reemployment, but told the agency he could no longer serve as a state trooper and sought a comparable job to accommodate his service-related disability. When he was denied the job, he filed suit under federal law but lost in state courts. He appealed the decision to the US Supreme Court.

Torres argued the DPS failing to offer him a job to accommodate his disability violated the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. The law — meant to protect veterans from employment discrimination — was passed under Congress’ power to “raise and support Armies.”

At oral arguments, Andrew T. Tutt, a lawyer for Torres, told the justices that the “Constitution gave Congress the power to raise and support Armies, and the reason for that grant was to ensure the survival of the nation.” He said the law’s protections are “crucial in light of the structure of the modern military” and noted that in order to convince soldiers to join the reserves force, Congress promised them “they would not be discriminated against on the basis of their military service or service-connected injuries.”…

…Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, joined by the other liberals as well as Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Texas had argued that states are immune from such lawsuits brought under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, passed under Congress’ war powers authority. The law was enacted to ensure that those who serve aren’t disadvantaged when they return to the work force with a service-related disability.

Breyer said that “upon entering the Union,” the states “implicitly agreed that their sovereignty would yield to federal policy to build and keep a national military.”

And emphasizing Congress’ war powers authority, he noted that “Congress has broad and sweeping power to raise and support armies.”

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a dissent, joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.

Thomas said that “history and precedent” show that “when the States ratified the Constitution, they did not implicitly consent to private damages actions filed in their own courts — whether authorized by Congress’ war powers or any other Article I power.”

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education

American Girl publishes ‘guide’ for girls aged 3-12 on how to transition gender

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Parents are furious over a popular doll brand is offering advice to girls as young as three on how to transition their gender. Though a published magazine, American Girl not only advocated for medicines available to “delay your body’s changes, giving you more time to think about your gender” but supported the notion of making such decisions without parental consent.

“If you don’t have an adult you trust, there are organizations across the country that can help you” the magazine, titled “A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image” writes. It offers readers to “turn to the Resources on page 95 for more information.”

The publication then details what discussions with a doctor could entail: “If you have’t gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body’s changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity.”

“If you’ve already gone through puberty, a doctor can still help” it continues. “Studies show that transgender and nonbinary kids who get help from doctors have much better mental health than those who don’t.”

Normalizing body dysmorphia, the book reads “Parts of your body might make you feel uncomfortable, and you might wan to change the way you look. That’s totally OK!”

The Daily Mail notes “earlier this year, its parent company Mattel, recently put a transgender Barbie doll on the market. Before that, American Girl, which sells more than 30 million dolls a year, shilled an Asian doll when anti-Asian hate crimes were skyrocketing across the US.”

 

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