Supreme Court refuses appeal for Virginia school board’s transgender bathroom ban

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Seated, from left to right, are Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Standing, from left to right, are Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett. Pool Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

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Supreme Court declines to hear bathroom case in victory for transgender student

Supreme Court

Supreme Court Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Supreme Court is passing on a key case involving a transgender student, and the ACLU is celebrating the news as an “incredible victory.”

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, the transgender student who challenged a Virginia school board’s policy that restrooms are “limited to the corresponding biological genders,” NBC News reports. Lower courts sided with Grimm that this violated Title IX, the civil rights law against sex discrimination, and since the Supreme Court isn’t taking up the case, Grimm’s win stays in place.

Josh Block, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, told NBC that this was “an incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country,” while Grimm said, “I am glad that my years-long fight to have my school see me for who I am is over. Being forced to use the nurse’s room, a private bathroom, and the girl’s room was humiliating for me, and having to go to out-of-the-way bathrooms severely interfered with my education.”

According to CNN, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito both said they would have taken up the case.

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How to Pick Bathroom Faucets

In any bathroom overhaul, the faucets are the crown jewels. Available in a spectacular array of shapes and finishes, even modestly priced faucets present worlds of possibility. Add in the options for interactivity and water conservation, and today’s bathroom faucets offer homeowners every convenience.

Before choosing bathroom faucets, you’ll need to consider a few factors, such as whether you’re using an existing sink or buying a new one, where are the faucet opening. You’ll also need to consider which features you want, as well as how much faucet your budget will allow. Other considerations include the size of your bathroom and what sort of faucets are typically found in similar homes in your area.

If you’re retrofitting a new faucet to an existing sink or buying a complete sink ensemble, be sure to match the type of faucet to the hole openings in your sink.

Single-hole faucets combine the spout and mixing handles—often a single lever—into one unit that requires only one drilled sink hole. For retrofits, some models include a bottom plate that will cover existing three-hole openings. Single-hole faucets are ideal for smaller sinks, such as powder room baths. Their simplicity reflects modern sensibilities.

Center-set faucets fit standard three-hole sinks (with outer holes drilled 4 inches apart). They’ll have either a single lever or two handles mounted on a 6-inch plate. They’re ideal for most bathroom sinks.

Widespread mounts have three separate pieces: Two handles and the spout. The standard distance between the handles is at least 8 inches, and the three pieces tend to be larger than other types of bath faucets. Smaller versions, called minispreads, are designed for standard holes drilled 4 inches apart.

Wall mount faucets have gained popularity along with freestanding or vessel-type sinks that require longer spouts that extend well over the top of the bowl.

Not every faucet fixture can be easily categorized. Kohler, for example, makes a faucet that’s integrated into a mirrored wall cabinet. All you see is the tiny flow control lever peeking out from the bottom of your mirrored self.

The good news: In their zeal to bring new products to market, fixture manufacturers have created more finish options than Lady Gaga has costumes. Thanks to modern protective clear-coat sealers, even not-so-expensive faucets can boast of lifetime warranties for their finishes.

The bad news: You’ll have to choose from a mind-scrambling cornucopia of possibilities that include polished chrome (the long-standing industry stalwart), brushed chrome, polished nickel, brushed nickel, hammered nickel, stainless steel, bronze, brushed bronze, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, black, white and decorative ceramic.

Let’s not overlook gold, which today might be considered an investment as well as a decorative preference.

If the choices give you sensory overload, try these decision-making tips:

Most major manufacturers consider faucet style the way Louis Vuitton does shoes—haute never rests. In fact, many manufacturers hire well-known designers to craft their most eye-catching models. Kallista, for example, offers fixtures from well-known kitchen designers Mick De Giulio and Barbara Barry. A sleek, Lamborghini-esque sink

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Nashville DA Glenn Funk can refuse to enforce the transgender bathroom sign law, lawyers say

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk is not backing down on his decision to not enforce the controversial transgender bathroom sign legislation once it becomes law July 1.

This is despite backlash from Republican lawmakers including East Tennessee Representative John Ragan who said the action from Funk is “offensive.”

The law requires businesses to notify the public if their bathrooms are inclusive.

“Every person is welcomed and valued in Nashville. Enforcement of transphobic and homophobic laws is contrary to those values. My office will not promote hate,” Funk said in a letter.

Abby Rubenfeld, a Nashville Civil Rights attorney with Rubenfeld Law Office said, “General Funk’s response was completely appropriate, I mean he has limited resources, he has to make priorities about enforcement of laws and that’s just the accepted part of his job.”

There’s been continued outcry from Republican lawmakers who say it’s their job to write the laws and its Funk’s job to enforce them.

“The only thing, I think that’s different about this situation is — it’s a controversial law and then the district attorney has taken a more blanket approach,” said Melanie Wilson, Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Funk also said district attorneys have “discretion of when and under what circumstances to enforce laws enacted by the legislative branch and signed by the executive.”

Something Wilson, a former federal prosecutor, says is correct.

“Even in Tennessee there are Attorney General opinions, there’s a statue that gives broad unfettered discretion to the prosecution to pick and choose and I think it’s likely that the district attorney is going to be upheld in exercising his discretion,” Wilson said.

Tennessee is the first state to require such signage, something Rubenfeld says will be struck down if challenged in court.

“I mean these laws are unconstitutional and our legislature should quit wasting time,” Rubenfeld said. “I mean we have an attorney general who could’ve given them an opinion before they passed it that it was unconstitutional and it’s unnecessary, that’s the more important point to me.”

It’s unclear how the law will be enforced or if any other district attorney will also refuse to enforce the law.

News 2 reached out to Rep. John Ragan for comment and received an emailed statement in part saying Funk is acting outside of his legal authority.

District Attorney General Funk maintains that he has complete discretion to declare that he, alone, “has the discretion to decide when and under what circumstances to enforce laws enacted by the legislature and signed by the executive branch.” If this sounds like an individual is exercising power that “is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind,” that’s because it certainly

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Supreme Court declines challenge to Virginia transgender bathroom decision

The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge on Monday to a Virginia appeals court decision allowing students to use school bathrooms according to their gender identity rather than biological sex.

The challenge was a response to a case originally brought forward by Gavin Grimm, a Virginia teenager born a female but identifying as a male who said that the Gloucester County, Virginia, school system was discriminatory in its bathroom policies. Grimm won that case last year. The Supreme Court shut down the challenge in an unsigned order, but Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas added that they would have heard it.

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The court’s decision means that Grimm’s victory will remain intact.

Grimm’s case was one of several legal battles involving transgender bathroom use that played out at about the same time that the Supreme Court was weighing whether or not to legalize gay marriage. In this one, the school was initially lenient but soon changed its policy, claiming that bathroom use was “limited to the corresponding biological genders.”

When lawyers for the school appealed to the Supreme Court last year, Grimm’s attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union responded by urging the court not to take the case, arguing that it was a Title IX violation to deny any student the bathroom use of his or her choice.

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The appeals court decision favoring Grimm came down shortly after the Supreme Court decided another case involving gay and transgender discrimination, Bostock v. Clayton County. In that case, the court found that discriminating against gay and transgender employees is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Judge Henry Floyd, who wrote the majority opinion in Grimm’s case, said that the logic of Bostock could easily be applied to bathroom disputes. Although Bostock “expressly” excluded a discussion of how bathroom cases should be decided, the landmark Supreme Court case, Floyd said, could easily be used to interpret Title IX, which prevents sexual discrimination in schools.

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Transgender student wins as Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a major transgender rights case, leaving in place a lower court’s ruling that a Virginia public school board acted unlawfully in preventing a transgender student from using a bathroom at his high school that corresponded with his gender identity.

The justices opted not to hear the Gloucester County School Board’s appeal of a 2020 ruling by the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that transgender student Gavin Grimm is protected under the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education, known as Title IX, and the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that people be treated equally under the law. The 4th Circuit ruling does not set a national legal precedent.

The Supreme Court’s decision to reject the appeal represents a victory for Grimm, who sued the school board in 2015 after officials at a local public high school refused to allow him to use the boys’ restrooms. The Supreme Court previously took up the case in 2016 but did not issue a ruling and sent it back to lower courts.

“We won,” Grimm wrote on Twitter. “I have nothing more to say but thank you, thank you, thank you. Honored to have been part of this victory.”

The brief court order noted that conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would have taken up the case.

FILE - In this April 23, 2021, file photo members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left are Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left are Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Before the Supreme Court this is week is an argument over whether public schools can discipline students over something they say off-campus. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

FILE – In this April 23, 2021, file photo members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left are Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left are Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Before the Supreme Court this is week is an argument over whether public schools can discipline students over something they say off-campus. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

President Joe Biden’s administration, reversing the position taken by the government under his predecessor Donald Trump, said on June 16 that Title IX protects both gender identity and sexual orientation. The administration has not said specifically how that applies to school bathroom access.

Grimm, assigned female gender at birth, identifies as male. Grimm, now 22, graduated from the school in 2017.

Grimm began attending Gloucester High School in September 2014. With the school’s permission, Grimm used the boys’ bathroom for about seven weeks without incident.

But after complaints from parents, the county school board adopted a new policy in December 2014 that required students to use the bathroom that corresponded with their gender at birth. Grimm was given the option of using a separate gender-neutral bathroom, but refused to do so, feeling stigmatized.

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Judge Henry Floyd, writing for the 4th Circuit, said the school board’s actions constituted “a special kind of discrimination against a child that he will no

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Nashville DA won’t enforce new bathroom sign law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville’s top prosecutor said Monday that he will not enforce a newly enacted law that requires businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multiperson bathrooms and other facilities associated with their gender identity.

“I believe every person is welcome and valued in Nashville,” Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk said in a statement. “Enforcement of transphobic or homophobic laws is contrary to those values. My office will not promote hate.”

Funk’s office clarified that this refusal to enforce “transphobic or homophobic laws” specifically included the first-of-its kind measure signed by Republican Gov. Bill Lee earlier this month.

The move, along with the flurry of other anti-transgender laws approved by Lee, has sparked alarm among LGBTQ advocates. Many have decried the latest measure as discriminatory and said the required signs are “offensive and humiliating.” The law will go into effect July 1.

However, questions have remained about how specifically it will be enforced.

Republican Rep. Tim Rudd, who sponsored the legislation, told a legislative committee in March that the bill “does not provide any fines or penalties at this point,” and the amended version passed by that committee became law. Rudd has also said that the law could be enforced by people filing lawsuits or district attorneys asking a judge to force businesses to comply.

Yet Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference President Amy Weirich argued that the language in the new law “doesn’t speak to anything having to do with enforcement.”

“The way it’s written, I don’t see anything that allows or provides me the responsibility or right to go to civil court and ask a judge to enforce it,” said Weirich, Shelby County’s district attorney.

Lee did not have a strong reaction when pressed by reporters Monday on Funk’s refusal to enforce the bathroom sign law.

“I think his decision will be his own,” he said. “I signed the law; it’s his decision how he wants to respond to it.”

Lee’s response was markedly different than when Funk announced in September he would not enforce a new law that required abortion providers to tell their patients it may be possible to reverse the action of abortion medication half-way through the procedure. Funk said at the time he believed the law was unconstitutional.

Without naming Funk, Lee’s office tweeted that, “A district attorney purposefully disregarding current, duly enacted laws by the legislature is a grave matter that threatens our justice system and has serious consequences.”

___

Associated Press writer Jonathan Mattise contributed to this report.

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Former Clarksville school nurse photographed over 40 girls in Northeast High School bathroom, charges say

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A former Clarksville school nurse is facing federal charges in a child pornography investigation.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office , Leon Hensley, 40, was arrested Thursday morning at his current home in Lake Wales, Florida. He is scheduled to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Tampa later Thursday.

A criminal compliant alleges that from August 2017 through November 8, 2019, Hensley was employed as a nurse at North East High School (NEHS) in Clarksville. In November 2019, the Clarksville Police Department received information from the Tennessee Department of Children Services suggesting that Hensley texted a picture of a naked woman to a minor female in the Clarksville area.

Authorities say Hensley was communicating with the minor via text message and asked her to help him with a photo shoot by posing for photos.

Officers with the Clarksville Police Department searched Hensley’s phone and found several pictures showing sexual exploitation of children. When officers executed a search warrant for Hensley’s house, they seized numerous electronic devices, including a small covert video camera.

The initial search of Hensley’s phone lead officers to discover naked pictures which were identified as female students at NEHS. Due to the large amount of images on Hensley’s devices, the United States Secret Service joined the investigation and conducted a more thorough forensic search of Hensley’s electronic devices.

It was during this search where authorities found several files depicting what appeared to be unidentified girls, all minors, secretly photographed while using the restroom by a hidden camera.

Other photos showed more unidentified women, this time in hospital examination rooms, pre-operation or post operation rooms, and naked women in tanning beds, authorities say.

To date, over 700 pictures of minor females in a single restroom in various stages of undress and/or using bathroom facilities have been found on devices belonging to Hensley. The images appear to have been taken by a hidden or concealed camera.

Authorities say the camera was positioned in such a way to capture or try to capture the female genitalia and was positioned in the same location in all of the pictures – directly across and in front of the toilet seat at toilet seat level.

Further investigation revealed that the pictures were taken from inside the private student bathroom in the nurse’s station at NEHS. Other images were found to have been taken at Tennova Hospital in Clarksville, where Hensley was employed prior to his employment at NEHS, investigators say.

To date, over 40 victims are suspected to be students at NEHS and range from 12 to 17 years of age.

Hensley faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to life in prison if convicted.

Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service, FBI, Clarksville Police Department, Assistant U.S. Attorneys are all

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Actor Miles Teller says he was attacked in a bathroom while on vacation in Hawaii

Actor Miles Teller said he was attacked in a bathroom in Hawaii by two men, according to a tweet from the “Whiplash” star.

Teller was on vacation and in Maui at the time with his wife Keleigh Sperry, his “Divergent” co-star Shailene Woodley and her fiancé, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“I got jumped by two guys in a bathroom. Never met them before in my life but ya cool wrestling segue bud,” Teller tweeted on Friday in response to a WWE clip tweeted out by commentator Pat McAfee.

On Friday, Teller’s wife Sperry also responded to a TMZ story that claimed the dispute was about Teller owing money for the couple’s wedding, writing in an Instagram story that those claims were false.

“The story reported about Miles being punched in the face by @TMZ over ‘money’ is completely false,” Sperry wrote, according to NBC Connecticut. “Miles was jumped by 2 men we have never met after they trapped him in a bathroom.”

Us Weekly reported that Sperry’s Instagram story also said that the alleged attackers had “done this to many people and we appreciate your support Maui. This is now a criminal investigation.”

NBC News has not viewed the Instagram story, which disappears after 24 hours.

A Maui Police Department spokesperson confirmed to Us Weekly that an incident occurred on May 26 at approximately 7:30 p.m. “at a West Maui restaurant involving a male victim and one responsible party.”

The spokesperson did not identify Teller as the victim nor did they identify the suspects.

The spokesperson confirmed an investigation is underway and no additional information was immediately available.

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Be Ambitious for Christ

My dear brothers and sisters, today I would like to speak to the young people of the Church, including our wonderful missionaries. Of course, brothers and sisters who are young at heart are warmly invited to listen.

Last August 21, President Russell M. Nelson dedicated the beautiful Sapporo Temple—the third temple in Japan. The Sapporo Temple is built in northern Japan in a place called Hokkaido. Like Utah, Hokkaido was settled by industrious, hardworking pioneers.

In 1876, a renowned educator named Dr. William Clark1 was invited to come to Hokkaido to teach. He lived in Japan for just eight months, but his Christian spirit left a lasting impression on his young non-Christian students. Before leaving, he gave his students a parting message that has become immortalized in this bronze statue.2 He said, “Boys, be ambitious!”—“Be ambitious for Christ.”3 His injunction to “be ambitious for Christ” can help direct daily decisions for today’s Latter-day Saints.

What does it mean to “be ambitious for Christ”? Being ambitious for Christ means being motivated, focused, and dedicated to His work. Being ambitious for Christ will seldom mean that we are singled out for public honor. Being ambitious for Christ means that we serve faithfully and diligently in our wards and branches without complaint and with joyful hearts.

Our missionaries serving throughout the world are beautiful examples of those who are truly ambitious for Christ. A few years ago, Sister Yamashita and I served in the Japan Nagoya Mission. Our missionaries were so ambitious for Christ. One of those missionaries was a young man named Elder Cowan.

Elder Cowan with President and Sister Yamashita

Elder Cowan did not have a right leg because of a bicycle accident as a youth. A few weeks after he entered the mission, I received a phone call from his companion. Elder Cowan’s prosthetic leg had broken while he was riding his bike. We took him to a good repair facility, and there in a private room, I saw his leg for the first time. I realized how much pain he had been suffering. His prosthetic leg was repaired, and he returned to his area.

However, as the weeks went by, the prosthesis continued to break again and again. The area medical adviser recommended that Elder Cowan return home for a possible mission reassignment. I resisted this advice because Elder Cowan was a great missionary and he had a strong desire to remain in Japan. Gradually, though, Elder Cowan began to approach his physical limit. In spite of this, he did not murmur or complain.

Again, I was advised that Elder Cowan be allowed to serve in a place that did not require him to ride a bike. I pondered this situation. I thought about Elder Cowan and his future, and I prayed about the matter. I felt impressed that, yes, Elder Cowan should return home and await reassignment. I phoned him and expressed my love and concern and told him of my decision. He did not say anything in reply. I could only

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