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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 2695)

The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Fresh off celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 93rd birthday on Sunday, the British royal family is already marking another big milestone.

Kensington Palace released photos on Tuesday of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, Prince Louis, just before his first birthday on April 23. In keeping with tradition, the former Kate Middleton took the photos of her youngest son herself.

Louis can be seen climbing outside the family’s Norfolk home, his eyes wide as he flashes a still-mostly-toothless smile.

Westlake Legal Group 5cbe3c1d240000ab0006848d The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Duchess of Cambridge/Reuters

A photo of Prince Louis taken by his mom, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Westlake Legal Group 5cbe3c6c240000130a4f7017 The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Duchess of Cambridge/Reuters

Louis wore this buttoned burgundy sweater for some of the photos.

In another image, Prince Louis sports a knitted blue sweater emblazoned with a polka-dotted dog.

Westlake Legal Group 5cbe3c91240000030a4f7018 The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Duchess of Cambridge/Reuters

He also wore this cute dog sweater.

Louis is currently the youngest Windsor, though Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby of their own any day now. Unlike William and Kate, the couple is keeping details of their child’s birth under wraps.

A statement from Buckingham Palace on April 11 announced that Harry and Meghan “have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.”

But fret not ― the palace says we’ll hear all about it soon enough.

“The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family,” the statement read.

The baby could share a birthday with William and Kate’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, who turns 4 on May 2.

Royal news doesn’t stop at the wedding. Subscribe to HuffPost’s Watching the Royals newsletter for all things Windsor (and beyond).

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers

Westlake Legal Group supreme-court-to-decide-whether-landmark-civil-rights-law-applies-to-gay-and-transgender-workers Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers Transgender and Transsexuals Supreme Court (US) Homosexuality and Bisexuality Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination
Westlake Legal Group 22dc-scotus-bias-facebookJumbo Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers Transgender and Transsexuals Supreme Court (US) Homosexuality and Bisexuality Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees protections from workplace discrimination to gay and transgender people in three cases expected to provide the first indication of how the court’s new conservative majority will approach L.G.B.T. rights.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said the 1964 act does guarantee the protections. But the Trump administration has taken the opposite position, saying that the landmark legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and, notably, sex, cannot fairly be read to apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

The three cases the court accepted are the first concerning L.G.B.T. rights since the retirement last summer of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a champion of gay rights. His replacement by the more conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh could shift the court’s approach to cases concerning gay men, lesbians and transgender people.

Most federal appeals courts have interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to exclude sexual orientation discrimination. But two of them, in New York and Chicago, recently issued decisions ruling that discrimination against gay men and lesbians is a form of sex discrimination.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case from New York, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623, along with one from Georgia that came to the opposite conclusion, Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., No. 17-1618.

The New York case was brought by a skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, who said he was fired because he was gay. His dismissal followed a complaint from a female customer who had voiced concerns about being tightly strapped to Mr. Zarda during a tandem dive. Mr. Zarda, hoping to reassure the customer, told her that he was “100 percent gay.”

Mr. Zarda sued under Title VII and lost the initial rounds. He died in a 2014 skydiving accident, and his estate pursued his case.

Last year, a divided 13-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit allowed the lawsuit to proceed. Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann concluded that “sexual orientation discrimination is motivated, at least in part, by sex and is thus a subset of sex discrimination.”

In dissent, Judge Gerard E. Lynch wrote that the words of Title VII did not support the majority’s interpretation.

“Speaking solely as a citizen,” he wrote, “I would be delighted to awake one morning and learn that Congress had just passed legislation adding sexual orientation to the list of grounds of employment discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I am confident that one day — and I hope that day comes soon — I will have that pleasure.”

“I would be equally pleased to awake to learn that Congress had secretly passed such legislation more than a half-century ago — until I actually woke up and realized that I must have been still asleep and dreaming,” Judge Lynch wrote. “Because we all know that Congress did no such thing.”

The arguments in the Second Circuit had a curious feature: Lawyers for the federal government appeared on both sides. One lawyer, representing the E.E.O.C., said Title VII barred discrimination against gay people. Another, representing the Trump administration, took the contrary view.

The Georgia case was brought by a child welfare services coordinator who said he was fired for being gay. The 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled against him in a short, unsigned opinion that cited a 1979 decision that had ruled that “discharge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII.”

The justices also agreed to decide the separate question of whether Title VII bars discrimination against transgender people. The case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 18-107, concerns Aimee Stephens, who was fired from a Michigan funeral home after she announced in 2013 that she was a transgender woman and would start working in women’s clothing.

“What I must tell you is very difficult for me and is taking all the courage I can muster,” she wrote to her colleagues. “I have felt imprisoned in a body that does not match my mind, and this has caused me great despair and loneliness.”

Ms. Stephens had worked at the funeral home for six years. Her colleagues testified that she was able and compassionate.

Two weeks after receiving the letter, the home’s owner, Thomas Rost, fired Ms. Stephens. Asked for the “specific reason that you terminated Stephens,” Mr. Rost said: “Well, because he was no longer going to represent himself as a man. He wanted to dress as a woman.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled for Ms. Stephens. Discrimination against transgender people, the court said, was barred by Title VII.

“It is analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee’s status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee’s sex,” the court said, adding, “Discrimination ‘because of sex’ inherently includes discrimination against employees because of a change in their sex.”

John J. Bursch, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the funeral home, said the appeals court had impermissibly revised the federal law.

“Neither government agencies nor the courts have authority to rewrite federal law by replacing ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’ — a change with widespread consequences for everyone,” Mr. Bursch said in a statement. “The funeral home wants to serve families mourning the loss of a loved one, but the E.E.O.C. has elevated its political goals above the interests of the grieving people that the funeral home serves.”

James D. Esseks, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Ms. Stephens and Mr. Zarda’s estate, said the cases concern elementary principles of fairness.

“Most of America would be shocked if the Supreme Court said it was legal to fire Aimee because she’s transgender or Don because he is gay,” Mr. Esseks said in a statement. “Such a ruling would be disastrous, relegating L.G.B.T.Q. people around the country to a second-class citizen status.”

There is a second issue in Ms. Stephens’s case, one that could allow her to win however the Supreme Court might rule on whether Title VII applies to discrimination against transgender people. In 1989, the court said discrimination against workers because they did not conform to gender stereotypes was a form of sex discrimination.

The Sixth Circuit ruled for Ms. Stephens on that ground, too, saying she had been fired “for wishing to appear or behave in a manner that contradicts the funeral home’s perception of how she should behave or appear based on her sex.”

All three cases present the question of how courts should interpret statutes whose drafters might not have contemplated the sweep of the language they wrote.

In January, in a minor arbitration case, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote that courts should ordinarily interpret statutes as they were understood at the time of their enactment. In a concurring opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that was not always so.

“Congress,” she wrote, “may design legislation to govern changing times and circumstances.” Quoting from an earlier decision, she added: “Words in statutes can enlarge or contract their scope as other changes, in law or in the world, require their application to new instances or make old applications anachronistic.”

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Wisconsin mother of 7 pleads guilty to ISIS terror-related charges

Westlake Legal Group wisconsin-mother-of-7-pleads-guilty-to-isis-terror-related-charges Wisconsin mother of 7 pleads guilty to ISIS terror-related charges Frank Miles fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox news fnc/us fnc article 37964090-4247-56ee-8576-da9a4ca57088

A Wisconsin mother of seven has pleaded guilty to trying to plan terrorist attacks on behalf of the Islamic State terror network by distributing information on making explosives and biological weapons, according to reports.

Waheba Issa Dais entered her plea Monday but the agreement was finalized last month, Fox 6 reported.

The mother, who lives in Cudahy, a city just south of Milwaukee, faces up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 12.

Westlake Legal Group Waheba-Dais Wisconsin mother of 7 pleads guilty to ISIS terror-related charges Frank Miles fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox news fnc/us fnc article 37964090-4247-56ee-8576-da9a4ca57088

Waheba Issa Dais, a Wisconsin mother of seven, has pleaded guilty to trying to plan terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS. (Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department)

NEW MEXICO COUNTY DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER SURGE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CROSSING THE BORDER

She initially pleaded not guilty to two counts of providing material support to terrorists but prosecutors dropped one of the charges in exchange for her guilty plea.

Court documents said she used hacked social media accounts to discuss possible attacks with self-proclaimed members of ISIS.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Prosecutors said Dais tried to recruit people to carry out attacks and provided information on making explosives and poisons.

“These cases demonstrate the continuing and evolving terrorism threat posed by foreign terrorism organizations,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Matthew Krueger said.

Click for more from Fox 6.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

Westlake Legal Group Waheba-Dais Wisconsin mother of 7 pleads guilty to ISIS terror-related charges Frank Miles fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox news fnc/us fnc article 37964090-4247-56ee-8576-da9a4ca57088   Westlake Legal Group Waheba-Dais Wisconsin mother of 7 pleads guilty to ISIS terror-related charges Frank Miles fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox news fnc/us fnc article 37964090-4247-56ee-8576-da9a4ca57088

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Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher reveal son Isaiah’s Easter bedtime prayer

Westlake Legal Group carrie-underwood-mike-fisher-reveal-son-isaiahs-easter-bedtime-prayer Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher reveal son Isaiah's Easter bedtime prayer Mariah Haas fox-news/person/carrie-underwood fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ee875615-0ca6-5423-920f-3e9d2abe7284 article
Westlake Legal Group carrie-underwood-bump-ap Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher reveal son Isaiah's Easter bedtime prayer Mariah Haas fox-news/person/carrie-underwood fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ee875615-0ca6-5423-920f-3e9d2abe7284 article

So sweet!

Carrie Underwood and husband Mike Fisher‘s 4-year-old son Isaiah ended his Easter Sunday with a bedtime prayer.

Fisher, 38, went on Twitter over the weekend to share the adorable moment with his followers.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD HILARIOUSLY SINGS ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ TO SON ISAIAH AFTER INHALING HELIUM BALLOON

“Isaiah’s bed time prayer finished with ‘Jesus thanks for going in the tomb and thanks for getting out all by yourself,'” Fisher revealed. Meanwhile, a proud Underwood replied to the tweet with a heart emoji.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD, MIKE FISHER WELCOME BABY BOY: ‘OUR HEARTS ARE FULL’ 

Back in January, the couple welcomed their second child, son Jacob.

“Jacob Bryan Fisher entered the world in the wee hours of the morning on Monday,” the country superstar revealed on Instagram at the time. “His mom, dad and big brother couldn’t be happier for God to trust them with taking care of this little miracle!”

Underwood, 36, added, “Our hearts are full, our eyes are tired and our lives are forever changed. Life is good…”

CARRIE UNDERWOOD ON HAVING ANOTHER BABY BOY: ‘IT WAS JUST GREAT NEWS’

The “Cry Pretty” singer shared several photos of her new bundle of joy. The first picture shows her husband beaming as he holds his newborn son while the second shows Underwood holding Jacob on her chest.

The third photo shows proud big brother Isaiah holding his new sibling.

Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group carrie-underwood-bump-ap Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher reveal son Isaiah's Easter bedtime prayer Mariah Haas fox-news/person/carrie-underwood fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ee875615-0ca6-5423-920f-3e9d2abe7284 article   Westlake Legal Group carrie-underwood-bump-ap Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher reveal son Isaiah's Easter bedtime prayer Mariah Haas fox-news/person/carrie-underwood fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ee875615-0ca6-5423-920f-3e9d2abe7284 article

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What We Know and Don’t Know About the Sri Lanka Attacks

Westlake Legal Group 22srilanka-whatweknow-facebookJumbo What We Know and Don’t Know About the Sri Lanka Attacks Sri Lanka Easter Bombings (April, 2019) National Thowheeth Jamaath

Attacks by suicide bombers on Sunday in Sri Lanka killed more than 290 people and wounded about 500 more.

The victims came from at least eight countries, and included worshipers at Easter Sunday services at the three churches that were among the targets of the coordinated bombings.

Sri Lanka’s president on Monday declared a conditional state of emergency that gave the security services sweeping powers to arrest and interrogate people, and to conduct search-and-seizures. A dusk-to-dawn curfew was in effect on Monday night in Colombo, the capital, and major social media and messaging services remained blocked by the government.

• The authorities in Sri Lanka said a little-known radical Islamist group, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, carried out the attacks, with help from international militants. No organization has yet claimed responsibility.

• The leader of Thowheeth Jama’ath, Mohammed Zaharan, is a known extremist who has spent time in both India and Sri Lanka, and who in recent years has preached hateful messages online.

• The Sri Lankan government acknowledged that more than 10 days before the attacks, a foreign intelligence agency gave the country’s security officials a detailed warning of a possible threat to churches by Thowheeth Jama’ath.

• That the country’s security agencies did not aggressively act on the warnings is being called a “colossal failure on the part of the intelligence services” and has created a crisis for the government.

• Within hours of the bombings, Sri Lankan security services arrested at least 24 suspects, suggesting the government knew where key members of Thowheeth Jama’ath could be found. The group was under surveillance, and the authorities had learned as far back as January that radical Islamists possibly tied to the group had stockpiled weapons and detonators.

• A forensic analysis of body parts found that most of the attacks had been carried out by lone bombers, but that two men had attacked the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.

• One of the suicide bombers was arrested a few months ago on suspicion of having vandalized a statue of Buddha, a highly provocative act in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist-majority island nation in the Indian Ocean.

• In Washington, intelligence and counterterrorism analysts were scrutinizing possible ties between the Islamic State and the attackers, but as of Monday afternoon had not reached any definitive conclusions.

• The attacks took place at three churches and three hotels on Sunday morning in three separate cities across the island. Two more explosions happened in the afternoon in and around Colombo, one at a small guesthouse and the other at what was the suspects’ apparent safe house. Three officers searching for the attackers were killed in that blast.

• The deadliest of the explosions appeared to be at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, about 20 miles north of Colombo, where at least 104 were killed.

• At least 28 people were killed at the Zion Church in Batticaloa, on the other side of the island on its eastern coast. St. Anthony’s Shrine, a Roman Catholic church in Colombo, was also attacked with an unknown number of dead. Witnesses described “a river of blood” there.

• In addition to the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury hotels, also in Colombo, were attacked.

• At least 36 of the dead were foreigners, several of them American, the authorities said. Others were British, Chinese, Dutch, Indian, Portuguese, Japanese and Turkish citizens, according to officials and news reports.

[Follow our live updates on the bombings.]

• How a small, obscure group that was previously best known for desecrating Buddhist statues managed to pull off sophisticated, coordinated attacks.

• What international terrorist network or networks, if any, helped with the attacks.

• The names of the suicide bombers and the 24 people being held in connection with the attacks.

• Why Catholics appear to have been singled out in the bombings in a Buddhist-majority nation with a sizable Hindu minority.

• Why the authorities failed to take substantial steps to try to prevent an attack after receiving reports of an imminent threat.

• What the effect of the failure to stop the attacks will have on Sri Lanka’s government, where the president and prime minister were already engaged in a bitter feud.

• How many of the approximately 500 wounded people were in critical condition, and what the final death toll might be.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Texas killer dies, questions still remain about girls’ death

A convicted murderer serving 70 years for a 1978 slaying near Houston who was also under investigation in the unsolved killings of 11 missing girls has collapsed and died in a Texas prison.

Jeremy Desel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said that inmate Edward Harold Bell, 79, died Saturday at the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota. The facility located about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Houston holds several elderly prisoners

“There did not appear to be any signs of foul play,” Desel told The Associated Press on Monday.

Desel declined to discuss Bell’s medical history, citing privacy laws. All in-custody deaths are investigated by the independent Office of Inspector General, according to Desel.

Bell’s death leaves unanswered questions about the unsolved murders of 11 girls he claimed to have killed, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Bell was already serving time for killing Larry Dickens, an ex-Marine from Pasadena, when he admitted in 2011 to kidnapping and killing several girls who had disappeared from Galveston, Dickinson, Houston, Clear Lake and Alvin in the 1970s.

In one of several letters sent, Bell called the girls the “Eleven who went to Heaven.” Bell acknowledged that he had also sent confession letters detailing several identical crimes to prosecutors in Galveston and Harris counties in 1998.

A few years after Bell made claims of being a serial killer, retired Galveston homicide detective Fred Paige and a Chronicle reporter collaborated to find evidence that he murdered the girls. The results of findings in that investigation were highlighted in a 2017 documentary on A&E called “The Eleven.”

Galveston prosecutors then reopened the murder cases of Debbie Ackerman and Maria Johnson, the two island girls whose kidnapping and deaths Bell detailed in letters and interviews.

Bell was never charged with those two homicides, but he remained the key suspect until the time of his death. He also was the suspect in numerous other unresolved murders, but the departments spearheading the 11 cold cases could not find DNA evidence, nor were they able to locate weapons.

Rita Brestrup, who lost her sister Maria Johnson in 1971, said she had no words for Bell but was happy that he “no longer walks this earth and will never be paroled.”

Bell was never prosecuted for any other murders besides Dickens, who was shot and killed after confronting Bell, a serial sex perpetrator who had exposed himself to a group of neighborhood girls.

Pasadena authorities subsequently arrested Bell and found murder weapons and pornography stashed in his pick-up truck. He made bail in Harris County and went on the run for 14 years.

After Bell was the subject of a 1992 Unsolved Mysteries episode, people provided tips which led to his arrest. The episode also featured Matthew McConaughey, who played Dickens in the actor’s first TV role.

___

Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-42842bc1f03a45ec8fae46864b7d6250 Texas killer dies, questions still remain about girls' death NAVASOTA, Texas fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 96099660-7f4f-5f97-8b78-8fd9a7c91381   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-42842bc1f03a45ec8fae46864b7d6250 Texas killer dies, questions still remain about girls' death NAVASOTA, Texas fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 96099660-7f4f-5f97-8b78-8fd9a7c91381

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-scotus-bias-facebookJumbo Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers Transgender and Transsexuals Supreme Court (US) Homosexuality and Bisexuality Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees protections from workplace discrimination to gay and transgender people in three cases expected to provide the first indication of how the court’s new conservative majority will approach L.G.B.T. rights.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said the 1964 act does guarantee the protections. But the Trump administration has taken the opposite position, saying that the landmark legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and, notably, sex, cannot fairly be read to apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

The three cases the court accepted are the first concerning L.G.B.T. rights since the retirement last summer of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a champion of gay rights. His replacement by the more conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh could shift the court’s approach to cases concerning gay men, lesbians and transgender people.

Most federal appeals courts have interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to exclude sexual orientation discrimination. But two of them, in New York and Chicago, recently issued decisions ruling that discrimination against gay men and lesbians is a form of sex discrimination.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case from New York, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623, along with one from Georgia that came to the opposite conclusion, Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., No. 17-1618.

The New York case was brought by a skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, who said he was fired because he was gay. His dismissal followed a complaint from a female customer who had voiced concerns about being tightly strapped to Mr. Zarda during a tandem dive. Mr. Zarda, hoping to reassure the customer, told her that he was “100 percent gay.”

Mr. Zarda sued under Title VII and lost the initial rounds. He died in a 2014 skydiving accident, and his estate pursued his case.

Last year, a divided 13-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit allowed the lawsuit to proceed. Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann concluded that “sexual orientation discrimination is motivated, at least in part, by sex and is thus a subset of sex discrimination.”

In dissent, Judge Gerard E. Lynch wrote that the words of Title VII did not support the majority’s interpretation.

“Speaking solely as a citizen,” he wrote, “I would be delighted to awake one morning and learn that Congress had just passed legislation adding sexual orientation to the list of grounds of employment discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I am confident that one day — and I hope that day comes soon — I will have that pleasure.”

“I would be equally pleased to awake to learn that Congress had secretly passed such legislation more than a half-century ago — until I actually woke up and realized that I must have been still asleep and dreaming,” Judge Lynch wrote. “Because we all know that Congress did no such thing.”

The arguments in the Second Circuit had a curious feature: Lawyers for the federal government appeared on both sides. One lawyer, representing the E.E.O.C., said Title VII barred discrimination against gay people. Another, representing the Trump administration, took the contrary view.

The Georgia case was brought by a child welfare services coordinator who said he was fired for being gay. The 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled against him in a short, unsigned opinion that cited a 1979 decision that had ruled that “discharge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII.”

The justices also agreed to decide the separate question of whether Title VII bars discrimination against transgender people. The case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 18-107, concerns Aimee Stephens, who was fired from a Michigan funeral home after she announced in 2013 that she was a transgender woman and would start working in women’s clothing.

“What I must tell you is very difficult for me and is taking all the courage I can muster,” she wrote to her colleagues. “I have felt imprisoned in a body that does not match my mind, and this has caused me great despair and loneliness.”

Ms. Stephens had worked at the funeral home for six years. Her colleagues testified that she was able and compassionate.

Two weeks after receiving the letter, the home’s owner, Thomas Rost, fired Ms. Stephens. Asked for the “specific reason that you terminated Stephens,” Mr. Rost said: “Well, because he was no longer going to represent himself as a man. He wanted to dress as a woman.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled for Ms. Stephens. Discrimination against transgender people, the court said, was barred by Title VII.

“It is analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee’s status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee’s sex,” the court said, adding, “Discrimination ‘because of sex’ inherently includes discrimination against employees because of a change in their sex.”

John J. Bursch, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the funeral home, said the appeals court had impermissibly revised the federal law.

“Neither government agencies nor the courts have authority to rewrite federal law by replacing ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’ — a change with widespread consequences for everyone,” Mr. Bursch said in a statement. “The funeral home wants to serve families mourning the loss of a loved one, but the E.E.O.C. has elevated its political goals above the interests of the grieving people that the funeral home serves.”

James D. Esseks, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Ms. Stephens and Mr. Zarda’s estate, said the cases concern elementary principles of fairness.

“Most of America would be shocked if the Supreme Court said it was legal to fire Aimee because she’s transgender or Don because he is gay,” Mr. Esseks said in a statement. “Such a ruling would be disastrous, relegating L.G.B.T.Q. people around the country to a second-class citizen status.”

There is a second issue in Ms. Stephens’s case, one that could allow her to win however the Supreme Court might rule on whether Title VII applies to discrimination against transgender people. In 1989, the court said discrimination against workers because they did not conform to gender stereotypes was a form of sex discrimination.

The Sixth Circuit ruled for Ms. Stephens on that ground, too, saying she had been fired “for wishing to appear or behave in a manner that contradicts the funeral home’s perception of how she should behave or appear based on her sex.”

All three cases present the question of how courts should interpret statutes whose drafters might not have contemplated the sweep of the language they wrote.

In January, in a minor arbitration case, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote that courts should ordinarily interpret statutes as they were understood at the time of their enactment. In a concurring opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that was not always so.

“Congress,” she wrote, “may design legislation to govern changing times and circumstances.” Quoting from an earlier decision, she added: “Words in statutes can enlarge or contract their scope as other changes, in law or in the world, require their application to new instances or make old applications anachronistic.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Dem leaders reject immediate impeachment proceedings in urgent conference call

Westlake Legal Group dem-leaders-reject-immediate-impeachment-proceedings-in-urgent-conference-call Dem leaders reject immediate impeachment proceedings in urgent conference call Gregg Re fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d7756f1d-66db-5f38-9435-484af5b007e1 article

House Democrat leaders backed off the idea of immediately launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump in an urgent conference call Monday evening, amid a growing rift among the party’s rank-and-file members, presidential contenders and committee chairs on the contentious issue.

Fox News is told by two senior sources on the conference call that even House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, an anti-Trump firebrand, told fellow Democrats that while she personally favored going forward with impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other members to join her.

Waters’ hesitation signaled clearly that, for the time being, any impeachment effort would struggle to gain steam. Just last week, Waters, D-Calif., took a far more aggressive tone, charging that “Congress’ failure to impeach is complacency in the face of the erosion of our democracy and constitutional norms.”

Waters also has called Attorney General Bill Barr a “lackey,” saying he was not being “respectful” to Congress. Barr held a news conference presenting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions and has referred bluntly to the FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign as “spying,” rankling Democrats even as he said the important issue was whether the spying was properly predicated.

On the call Monday night, Waters took a more muted tone and said she was simply saying what she personally thought — not demanding impeachment proceedings.

Westlake Legal Group AP19062177608615 Dem leaders reject immediate impeachment proceedings in urgent conference call Gregg Re fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc d7756f1d-66db-5f38-9435-484af5b007e1 article

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said while she personally favored impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other lawmakers to join her. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reportedly told colleagues on the call that while the findings from Mueller’s investigation merited further review, taking the president to trial would be premature. Congress is currently on a two-week recess, and representatives are scattered across the country.

The brewing fractures in the Democrat Party were evident on the Sunday talk show circuit, as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif, told “Fox News Sunday” that the impeachment question presented a “very difficult decision” that would take “the next couple of weeks” to determine.

TOP DEM DISMISSES POSSIBILITY OF COLLUSION FATIGUE: ‘THE RUSSIANS AREN’T GETTING TIRED’

“I’m not there yet, but I can foresee that possibly coming,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Democrats would be wise to instead focus on the upcoming presidential election.

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” adding his committee would “see where the facts lead us.” Nadler issued a subpoena on Monday for documents and testimony from former White House Counsel Donald McGahn, who resisted Trump’s calls to fire Mueller, according to the special counsel’s findings.

Meanwhile, prominent progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat running for president in 2020, wholeheartedly embraced the impeachment push.

Pelosi recognized the intra-party split in a letter to Democrats on Monday, ahead of the conference call.

“While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth,” Pelosi wrote. “It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the president accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings.”

Pelosi added: “Whether currently indictable or not, it is clear that the president has, at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds.”

Mueller’s 18-month-long probe found no evidence the Trump team conspired illegally with Russians, and debunked numerous conspiracy theories that mainstream media outlets had advanced on the topic. Democrats quickly pivoted to focus on whether the president had illegally obstructed the Russia investigation — a question Mueller chose to allow Barr, the Justice Department, and Congress to address.

TRUMP RAILS AGAINST ‘BULLS—‘ IN MUELLER REPORT

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told “Fox News Sunday” that it was unfair for Democrats to expect Mueller to have “exonerated” Trump on obstruction.

“You do not apply a standard of exoneration to anyone,” Giuliani told host Chris Wallace, after saying the standard was “warped” and that the Mueller report was full of “lies” told by disaffected Trump aides.

“Whether it’s a president, an impeachment,” Giuliani said, “you can’t exonerate. Exoneration means proving a negative.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Chad Pergram, Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Elon Musk Predicts Tesla Driverless Taxi Fleet Next Year

Westlake Legal Group 22tesla1-facebookJumbo Elon Musk Predicts Tesla Driverless Taxi Fleet Next Year Traffic Accidents and Safety Tesla Motors Inc Stocks and Bonds Musk, Elon Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Driverless and Semiautonomous Vehicles Company Reports

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, has made plenty of bold predictions. They don’t always come true.

On Monday, Mr. Musk said the company was on the cusp of making cars that could drive themselves safely on any road. He also promised that the company would begin operating a fleet of driverless “robo taxis” by the end of next year.

“I’m very convinced,” Mr. Musk said in a presentation to analysts at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. “In the future, people will want to outlaw people driving their own cars because they’ll be unsafe” compared with autonomous vehicles.

Many auto executives and analysts think Mr. Musk is being wildly optimistic and say cars that can drive themselves at all times are at least several years away.

“The idea that you can have a vehicle that can make complex decisions for full self-driving is just not plausible at this point,” said Mike Ramsey, a Gartner analyst.

If Mr. Ramsey is correct, it wouldn’t be the first time Mr. Musk has gotten ahead of himself. The chief executive once forecast that Tesla would make 500,000 cars in 2018, but it produced half that many. Last summer, he said Tesla would make 10,000 Model 3 sedans a week — about twice the number currently coming off the assembly line.

Mr. Musk had also promised a Model 3 for $35,000, which spurred tens of thousands of people to put down $1,000 deposits long before production had started. Tesla recently began making that car, but customers can order it only on the telephone or by visiting a store, not online, the way most customers prefer to buy its cars.

In the presentation on Monday, Mr. Musk and other executives described the technologies that the company is developing to allow cars to drive themselves, building on the Autopilot system that it has offered for several years.

He said Tesla had developed “the world’s fastest computer” for use in self-driving cars, able to conduct 144 trillion operations per second. Nvidia, a leading maker of chips for automotive use and a former supplier to Tesla, disputed that claim, saying it had a computer that can run 320 trillion operations per second.

Mr. Musk also said Tesla is developing “neural networks” of computers that can mimic the human brain and will enable driverless cars to operate safely using only cameras and radar sensors. Most other automakers are relying on cameras, radar and a type of laser-based radar known as lidar.

Other car companies have recently acknowledged that the development of self-driving technology is going to take longer than they had previously thought.

“We overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” Jim Hackett, Ford Motor’s chief executive, said this month in Detroit.

Mr. Musk’s lofty prognostications about self-driving cars and the new business of robo-taxis came as investors are bracing for troubling news from the electric carmaker. On Wednesday, Tesla is expected to report a loss for the first quarter amid slumping sales. The company previously said it delivered 63,000 cars in the quarter, down 31 percent from the fourth quarter, despite beginning sales of its Model 3 sedan in Europe and China.

Wall Street analysts are also concerned that Tesla does not have enough cash on hand. It ended 2018 with $3.7 billion, but used nearly $1 billion for a payment to bondholders in March. It recently said its cash reserve was “sufficient.”

Tesla stock closed down nearly 4 percent on Monday, suggesting that many investors were skeptical about Mr. Musk’s predictions about self-driving cars.

Investors were also spooked earlier in the day when Tesla said it was sending engineers to China to investigate why one of its cars appeared to spontaneously combust while parked in a Shanghai garage. Electric vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries that can burn if they are damaged or subject to high temperatures in what is know as “thermal runaway.”

Just last week, a parked Tesla caught fire at a service center near Pittsburgh. The car had previously caught fire in February, according to a local news report. In February, a man was killed in Florida when the Tesla he was driving crashed and was engulfed in flames.

Tesla introduced Autopilot in October 2015. It scans the road for obstacles and other vehicles, and can brake, accelerate and even pass other vehicles with little input from the driver. It tracks lines on highways to stay within lanes.

Yet it has come under scrutiny in at least four fatal crashes. In 2016, an Ohio man was killed when his Model S crashed into a tractor-trailer crossing a highway in Florida. Autopilot failed to recognize the truck and neither it nor the driver applied the brakes. While one federal safety agency found no technological defect in Autopilot, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the system “played a major role” in the crash.

Another accident in which a Tesla collided with a tractor-trailer occurred in Florida earlier this year. In 2018, a California man was killed when his Tesla Model X crashed into a concrete barrier on a highway. And in 2016 in China, a Model S ran into a street sweeper, killing the Tesla’s driver.

Despite Mr. Musk’s proclamations about Autopilot’s capabilities, owners’ manuals warn Tesla drivers that the system “cannot detect all objects and may not brake/decelerate for stationary vehicles, especially in situations when you are driving over 50 m.p.h.” In-car warnings also remind drivers that despite its name, Autopilot is only a driver-assistance system and is not intended to pilot cars on its own.

While Tesla is developing self-driving systems that use only cameras and radar to scan roads and identify obstacles, other companies, including Waymo, the autonomous-car division of Google’s parent company, also use lidar.

Mr. Musk dismissed lidar as “friggin’ stupid” on Monday.

Randy Reibel, chief executive of Blackmore, a maker of lidar systems for cars, disagreed. “With radar you can see something on the road, but you can’t tell how big it is,” Mr. Reibel said. “Cameras can tell you what something is, but not how far away it is. With lidar, you can see an apple or a brick on the road and know it’s an apple or a brick.”

Even lidar is not foolproof. In 2018, a self-driving, lidar-equipped vehicle being tested by Uber hit and killed a pedestrian crossing a road at night in Tempe, Ariz.

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The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Fresh off celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 93rd birthday on Sunday, the British royal family is already marking another big milestone.

Kensington Palace released photos on Tuesday of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, Prince Louis, just before his first birthday on April 23. In keeping with tradition, the former Kate Middleton took the photos of her youngest son herself.

Louis can be seen climbing outside the family’s Norfolk home, his eyes wide as he flashes a still-mostly-toothless smile.

Westlake Legal Group 5cbe3c1d240000ab0006848d The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Duchess of Cambridge/Reuters

A photo of Prince Louis taken by his mom, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Westlake Legal Group 5cbe3c6c240000130a4f7017 The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Duchess of Cambridge/Reuters

Louis wore this buttoned burgundy sweater for some of the photos.

In another image, Prince Louis sports a knitted blue sweater emblazoned with a polka-dotted dog.

Westlake Legal Group 5cbe3c91240000030a4f7018 The Royal Family’s New Photos Of Prince Louis Will Make You Smile

Duchess of Cambridge/Reuters

He also wore this cute dog sweater.

Louis is currently the youngest Windsor, though Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby of their own any day now. Unlike William and Kate, the couple is keeping details of their child’s birth under wraps.

A statement from Buckingham Palace on April 11 announced that Harry and Meghan “have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.”

But fret not ― the palace says we’ll hear all about it soon enough.

“The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family,” the statement read.

The baby could share a birthday with William and Kate’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, who turns 4 on May 2.

Royal news doesn’t stop at the wedding. Subscribe to HuffPost’s Watching the Royals newsletter for all things Windsor (and beyond).

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