Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation a violation of the Civil Rights Act

And considering the makeup of the court, this ruling is a game-changer:

A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Tuesday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination, setting up a likely battle before the Supreme Court as gay rights advocates push to broaden the scope of the 53-year-old law.

The 7th Circuit is considered relatively conservative and five of the eight judges in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents, making the finding all the more notable. In an opinion concurring with the majority, Judge Richard Posner wrote that changing norms call for a change in interpretation of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex.

Even if Gorsuch does get seated (which is highly probable), it will be surprising if the Supreme Court reverses this decision. I'm sure there will be some clever arguments put forward, but there simply is no justification for basing an employment decision on somebody's sexual orientation. To decide the Civil Rights Act doesn't apply to some classes of citizens would be an erosion of the Law itself, and I just don't see more than two Justices throwing their weight in that direction.

Wednesday News: The definition of insanity

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GOP REFILES POWER GRAB RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY 3-JUDGE PANEL: House Republicans are rushing a bill through the legislature that would aim to salvage last year’s attempt to take away control of elections boards from the political party of the governor. A law passed in a 2016 post-election special session and signed by former Gov. Pat McCrory would have consolidated the state elections and ethics boards and evenly divided membership of the new board between Republicans and Democrats. But a three-judge panel struck down that law last month as an unconstitutional encroachment on executive authority. Like the previous law, the new proposal would increase county elections boards from three to four members, evenly split between the parties. County boards would select their own chairs, who would belong to alternating political parties every other year with Republicans leading in even-numbered years.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article142695184.html

7th Circuit decision - bfd or ??

"A federal court in Chicago on Tuesday became the first U.S. appellate court in the nation to rule that LGBT employees are protected from workplace discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act."
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-law-covers-lgbt-workplace-bias-20170404-story.html
I saw reports that this is BIG but I'm still waiting for the sweet tears of NC Values Coalition before I believe it. Any thoughts?

Tuesday News: Blackwatergate

ERIK PRINCE HELPED CREATE CLANDESTINE COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN TRUMP/PUTIN: The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. The meeting took place around Jan. 11 - nine days before Trump's inauguration - in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would likely require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions. U.S. officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the Seychelles meeting as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged contacts between associates of Putin and Trump. The FBI declined to comment.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article142472939.html

Senate Bill 467

Senate Bill 467 - NC Retirement Reform - was introduced on Thursday. If passed into law it would end the NC Retirement System as we have known it since 1941. Employees hired after July 1, 2018, instead of having the security of a defined benefit that guarantees a retired state employee a monthly pension based on years of service and age at retirement, the proposed system would provide for a 401(k) or a 457 Plan, leaving the outcome of the employee's retirement up to the market place with no certainty of their benefit in retirement.

Monday numbers: NC Senate's tax plan a boon for the wealthy

But for the rest of us, not so much:

50—estimated percent of Senate tax cut proposal that will be received by the top 20 percent of income earners in North Carolina (Ibid)

20,119—amount in dollars of the average annual tax cut the top one percent of income earners will receive since 2013 if the latest Senate tax plan becomes law (Ibid)

15—amount in dollars of the average annual tax cut the bottom 20 percent of income earners will receive since 2013 if the latest Senate tax plan becomes law (Ibid)

3.2 billion—amount in dollars less that the state revenue code will bring in next fiscal year than it would have before tax changes made since 2013 if the latest Senate tax plan passes (Ibid)

Every year they are in charge, Republicans whittle away at the services provided to citizens, and every year the already wealthy benefit from that. It makes you wonder if everything else they do is simply a distraction so these vampires can keep feeding on the peasantry.

Monday News: April's Fool

TRUMP DECLARES APRIL SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH: But given Trump’s previous comments about women, including the infamous “Access Hollywood” recording in which he bragged about grabbing women by their gentials, as well as allegations from several women that he sexually assaulted them, many of the president’s critics saw the announcement as tragically ironic, especially given its proximity to April Fools’ Day. The joke was perfectly crystalized by actress and comedian Tina Fey, who was speaking at an ACLU telethon Friday night. “Earlier tonight, in what is surely an April Fools' joke, the president proclaimed that next month will be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month,” Fey said, per Mic. “So now we know what he gave up for Lent.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article142162434.html

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