News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Biden lifts transgender military ban; Boston doesn't have to fly Christian flag, court says

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Biden lifts transgender military ban

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday that lifts the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people in the military. “What I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform,” Biden said as he signed the order. (The New York Times, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, the executive order)

Boston doesn’t have to fly Christian flag, 1st Circuit says

Boston isn’t required to fly a Christian flag at its city hall, according to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Boston. The court said the flagpole is not a public forum, and the city can select the views that it wants to express. Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit religious liberty organization, said it would seek U.S. Supreme Court review on behalf of the plaintiffs, Boston resident Hal Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization, Camp Constitution. Boston granted at least 284 applications by private groups to fly flags on the city flagpole but not the Camp Constitution’s Christian flag request, according to Liberty Counsel. (Courthouse News Service, the Religion Clause, the 1st Circuit Court decision via How Appealing, Liberty Counsel press release)

Texas AG sues over deportation moratorium

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Biden administration violated a pact with the state when it enacted a 100-day moratorium on some deportations. The pact addressed shared immigration concerns and required notice of changes to immigration policy, the suit said. Some scholars have said the Trump administration’s agreements with Texas and other states are an attempt to prevent the new president from changing immigration policies. (Law360, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune)

Charges dropped against lawyer accused of threatening posts

A misdemeanor charge of terroristic threatening has been dropped against a Kentucky lawyer who was accused of referencing shootings in online comments about the state’s governor. The lawyer, James Troutman of Louisville, Kentucky, has completed anger management classes. In one comment, Troutman allegedly said someone should ask Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear about his thoughts on William Goebel, a governor who was shot the day before taking office. Troutman’s lawyer told WDRB that the prosecution recognized that Troutman’s words didn’t constitute a crime, although Troutman realized that his protected speech “wasn’t helpful under the circumstances.” (WDRB, Wave 3 News)

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