Tuesday News: Legacy of bigotry


JUDGE DECIDING IF LAWSUIT AGAINST HB2 REPLACEMENT CAN CONTINUE: A federal judge said Monday in Winston-Salem that he needs time to consider whether transgender plaintiffs can proceed with a lawsuit challenging the law that replaced the state’s “bathroom bill” known as HB2. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder heard arguments over a request by Republican lawmakers to dismiss the lawsuit. He said at the end of the hearing that he would issue a ruling at a later date. Transgender plaintiffs say they’re still being harmed by the compromise bill passed in 2017. The new law did away with a requirement that transgender people use restrooms corresponding to their sex at birth in many public buildings. But the law says only state legislators, not local governments, can make rules on bathroom access.

ROY COOPER'S COMMENTS ON VETO OF HOG PROTECTION BILL: “North Carolina’s nuisance laws can help allow generations of families to enjoy their homes and land without fear for their health and safety,” the Democratic governor said in his statement. “Those same laws stopped the Tennessee Valley Authority from pumping air pollution into our mountains. Our laws must balance the needs of businesses versus property rights. Giving one industry special treatment at the expense of its neighbors is unfair.” Lawmakers pushing for the curbs on nuisance suits were upset by a jury’s decision in federal court in April to award $50 million to 10 neighbors of a hog farm operated by Murphy-Brown and Smithfield Foods. The lawsuits filed by some 500 residents were borne out of a legal argument that a team of lawyers began crafting in 2014. They focused on the pork industry giant's continued use of "anaerobic lagoons" in which hog waste is stored behind livestock pens, then liquefied and sprayed onto nearby fields.

STATE DEPARTMENT HYPER-VIGILANT ABOUT "SONIC" ATTACKS WORLDWIDE: As President Donald Trump was heading to Singapore for a historic summit with North Korea's leader, a State Department diplomatic security agent who was part of the advance team reported hearing an unusual sound he believed was similar to what was experienced by U.S. diplomats in Cuba and China who later became ill. It turned out to be a false alarm, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the matter, who were not authorized to speak to the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. But the rapid response underscored how seriously the Trump administration views the potential risks at far-flung diplomatic outposts. So far, Americans who have served in at least seven cities in four countries have been tested for possible exposure, with 26 Americans "medically confirmed" to have been hurt. The incidents have become a new source of anxiety for U.S. officials working overseas and their families — one that remains shrouded in mystery because of investigators' inability to say what or who is responsible for the unexplained incidents that started more than 18 months ago.

SC PRIMARY ANOTHER TEST OF HOW STRONG TRUMPISM STILL IS WITHIN GOP: President Donald Trump is not on the ballot, but he has invested time, energy and political capital in a slate of primary contests across America that will again test his clout within his own party. Voters weigh in on candidates in seven states Tuesday, but the contest that matters most to Trump is South Carolina, where he appeared at a rally to help Gov. Henry McMaster hours before polls opened. The Republican governor, one of Trump's first high-profile supporters, is fighting for his political life against self-made millionaire John Warren in a runoff election that threatens to embarrass the White House if McMaster falls short. "Henry was for me from the beginning. There was nobody else," Trump said Monday night before commanding, "Get your asses out tomorrow and vote." Trump followed the order with a sunrise Twitter reminder: "GO OUT AND VOTE FOR HENRY TODAY, HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN."

CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS AT ODDS OVER HOW TO RESPOND TO TRUMP'S RHETORIC AND BEHAVIOR: Trump punched back sharply Monday after Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California told a crowd in her state over the weekend that “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them!” Trump, always eager for a foil, tweeted in retort: “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!” Other Democrats quickly distanced themselves from Waters’ call to action, suggesting it could endanger Democrats’ chances in the midterms that could determine the next chapter of Trump’s presidency. “In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again,” tweeted Pelosi, the House minority leader. “Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea.”