Judge’s ruling puts competitive Minnesota House race back on track for November

A federal judge set up a competitive Minnesota House race to take place next month after the sudden death of a candidate in the contest appeared to set up a February special election instead. 

Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota granted an injunction requested by Rep. Angie Craig (D), the district’s representative, against enforcing the state law that would have delayed the election until February.

The ruling comes after Adam Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party’s candidate running against Craig, died suddenly in late September. The timing of his death just 40 days before an election triggered the state law delaying the contest. The law was first passed in 2013 and postpones a contest if a major party candidate dies within 79 days of Election Day. 

Under the law, the race would remain on the ballot this year, but votes tallied for the district would not be counted.

Wright said the law would “unconstitutionally burden the rights of voters who have, or otherwise would, cast their ballots in the general election” and that “Representative Craig will suffer irreparable harm absent this Court issuing a preliminary injunction.”

The judge also noted that if no election is held in November, the constituents of the district will be without a representative between the time the next Congress is inaugurated and when the victor of the February special election is sworn in.

“If a preliminary injunction is not granted, two public-interest consequences will undisputedly occur. First, all votes cast for Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in November will be discarded. Second, every constituent in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District will have no representation in the United States House of Representatives for more than a month,” wrote Wright.

The ruling puts the race in the St. Paul area district back on track for November, setting up a contested battle between Craig and Republican Tyler Kistner. Craig flipped the seat in 2018 by about 5 points, but President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE beat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump between rock and hard place on debates Pence-Harris debate draws more than 50M viewers, up 26 percent from 2016 Not treason, not a crime — but definitely a gross abuse of power MORE in the suburban district by just 1 percentage point in 2016.

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Court denies Gloucester School Board’s effort to appeal ruling declaring bathroom ban unconsitutional in Grimm case

GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — An effort by the Gloucester County School Board to appeal a ruling declaring its bathroom policy for transgender students unconstitutional has been denied.

Earlier this month, the school board filed a petition asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear its case against former student Gavin Grimm.

That request was denied, according to a tweet from the ACLU of Virginia.

“Discrimination against trans students is discrimination on the basis of sex and it’s illegal. Full stop,” the ACLU tweeted.

The school board announced Sept. 9 it had requested an en banc review in the Richmond-based United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The request would have meant the full circuit court of appeals — all the judges — would have heard the case and could potentially overturned the previous ruling by a three-judge panel.

The three-judge panel had ruled that the school division’s requirements that Grimm use restrooms for his biological sex, female, or private bathrooms violated his rights. Grimm began transitioning from female to male while at Gloucester High School. In 2016, as a senior in high school, he legally changed his sex to male via state court order and on his birth certificate.

The panel’s decision upheld a previous one from a federal judge in Norfolk. That judge ruled in 2019 that Grimm’s rights were violated under the Constitution’s equal protection clause as well as under Title IX, a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.


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Rockets ‘not optimistic’ NBA will have ruling on Danuel House probe before Game 4

The Rockets were “not optimistic” Thursday that the NBA would reach a final decision on its probe into whether forward Danuel House Jr. violated the health and safety protocols on the league’s Florida campus in time for Game 4, but House has continued to insist he did not break the rules being investigated, a person with knowledge of the situation said.



LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


© Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Danuel House Jr. #4 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 06, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


The league has information that one of its contracted COVID-19 testing employees entered the Rockets’ Grand Floridian Hotel late night on Monday and has based its investigation of House on “door data” which showed House’s hotel room door opened sometime in those hours.

The woman, however, implicated Rockets center Tyson Chandler and another player and not House, the individual said. Chandler was cleared by the NBA investigation on Wednesday. The information on the other player was deemed not credible.

House has been “adamant” throughout the process that he was not involved in the violation, the person with information about the investigation said. There was no immediate indication beyond the “door data” that implicated House.

House and Chandler missed Game 3 of the Rockets’ series against the Lakers for what the Rockets, under the league’s direction, termed “personal matters.” House is listed as out for Game 4.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that the ongoing investigation could jeopardize House’s potential return to the Western Conference semifinals. Yahoo Sports reported that the investigation centers on allowing a female testing official into his hotel room.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, when asked on Wednesday if House could be available on Thursday, said, “We haven’t heard, yet.”

House, who has been the Rockets’ first substitute off the bench since Russell Westbrook returned from his injury in Game 5 of the first round series against the Thunder, had scored 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting in Game 2 and has averaged 11.4 points in the playoffs this season, making 43.5 percent of his shots.

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Former interior minister to lead ruling party

PARIS

Former French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner was elected Thursday as the head of the ruling La Republique En Marche (LREM) party.

The party is seen as having a key role in the possible re-election of President Emmanuel Macron in 2022.

The party election on Thursday afternoon saw Castaner edge out his opponent, Aurore Berge, by 25 votes.

The official tally is 97 votes, or 36.06%, for Castaner, and 81 votes for Berge, or 30.11%.

Castaner takes the place of Gilles Le Gendre, who had resigned in order to strengthen the party and allow it to move forward with new vigor.

Castaner’s goal for the LREM is to return “collective pride” and “more transparency, more debates, and more requirements with the government,” he said in an interview to the magazine Journal du Dimanche.

As interior minister he banned the chokehold, often used by police officers during arrests, following a wave of Black Lives Matter protests globally. His move led to days-long protests by the French police who saw it as an infringement of their rights. The ban was later reversed.

When the LREM came to power in 2017, it held majority in the National Assembly. But in the course of a year 34 members jumped ships, pushing it to minority.



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Gloucester School Board appeals recent ruling declaring bathroom ban unconstitutional in Gavin Grimm case

GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — In another development in a yearslong battle over bathroom rights for transgender students, the Gloucester County School Board has made an appeal in court over a ruling that said its transgender bathroom ban was unconstitutional.

The school board announced Wednesday it was appealing a previous court ruling that said the division had discriminated against a transgender male student, Gavin Grimm.

The board has requested an en banc review in the Richmond-based United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. That means the full circuit court of appeals — all the judges — could hear the case and could potentially overturn the previous ruling by a three-judge panel.

“We await that court’s further guidance,” the school wrote.

The last ruling, considered a victory for transgender rights advocates, as well as Grimm, was made late last month.

The panel determined that Gloucester’s requirement that Grimm use restrooms corresponding with his biological sex — the female bathrooms — or private bathrooms violated his rights when he was in school five years ago.

The three-judge panel with the appeals court wrote that the school board sent Grimm “to special bathrooms that might as well have said ‘Gavin’ on the sign.”

The panel’s decision upheld a previous one from a federal judge in Norfolk. That judge ruled in 2019 that Grimm’s rights were violated under the Constitution’s equal protection clause as well as under Title IX, a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Grimm began transitioning from female to male while attending school at Gloucester High School.

He has chest reconstruction surgery and hormone therapy. In 2016, as a senior in high school, he legally changed his sex to male via state court order and on his birth certificate.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.


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House Democrats ask appeals court to review ruling that McGahn doesn’t have to testify

House Democrats asked a larger panel of judges on a powerful Washington, DC-based appeals court on Tuesday to review whether former White House counsel Donald McGahn must appear before a congressional committee and testify about President Donald Trump.



Don McGahn looking at the camera: White House counsel Donald McGahn at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, September 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill.


© Melina Mara-Pool/Getty Images
White House counsel Donald McGahn at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, September 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill.

The filing is the latest chapter in a significant separation of powers dispute concerning whether federal courts can enforce legislative subpoenas against executive-branch officials.

Late last month, a three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the House’s lawsuit against McGahn must be dismissed. The court reasoned that Congress had to enact law expressly authorizing such a suit before it can go forward.

Now the House wants the full court to review the opinion.

In the new filing, House general counsel Douglas Letter argued that the opinion by the three judge panel “hamstrung the House’s constitutional right to obtain information.”

Letter said it was time for the full court “to resolve this matter so that the House can finally act upon its subpoena and obtain the information it requires to carry out its constitutional responsibilities.”

The House Judiciary Committee has been trying to interview McGahn under oath since spring 2019, and Democrats say they want to question him about potentially obstructive behavior from the President during the Russia investigation, which McGahn witnessed and had disclosed to special counsel Robert Mueller.

But the case has ping ponged between a three judge panel of the court, and the full panel of judges. Previously, the same split panel of three judges said the House didn’t have the ability to take the executive branch to court over a subpoena. But then the full appeals court disagreed, sending the case back to the same three judges.

The Justice Department, representing Trump and his Cabinet, had argued the courts should stay out of the disputes, letting Congress use politics and legislation to force the administration into compliance if it must.



Don McGahn wearing a suit and tie


© Drew Angerer/Getty Images


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