South Dakota Governor Vetoes Bill Stipulating Transgender Students’ Bathroom Use
Gov. Dennis Daugaard has vetoed a bill that would have required transgender students in South Dakota’s public schools to use bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities based on their gender at birth.
Daugaard issued the veto Tuesday afternoon on a bill that would have become law at midnight if he had taken no action.
Opponents of the measure, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign, had called on Daugaard to veto the bill.
“Proponents of House Bill 1008 say it protects students’ privacy,” South Dakota Public Radio reports. “Opponents say it’s discrimination.”
After the bill was approved by a 20-15 vote in the state Senate last month, its opponents held protests and questioned lawmakers about it. Daugaard, who in the past had said that he saw the legislation as providing accommodations for both sides, had also met with transgender students and parents.
“I heard their personal stories,” Daugaard said after those meetings, according to SDPB. “And so I saw things through their eyes in that sense. I had read other personal stories. Certainly I’m getting personal stories through the emails, and through what I read in the paper.”
The law would have had particular impact for the 1,360 youth in South Dakota who identify as transgender, according to an estimate by the Williams Institute, a think tank based at UCLA. But it’s also part of a wider debate over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
Last week, the city council of Charlotte, N.C., approved a nondiscrimination ordinancethat allows transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.
According to the ACLU, at least 200 other cities and counties have enacted similar legislation, as have at least 18 states. (NPR)
Whole Foods recalls cheese because of listeria risk
Whole Foods has recalled Maytag raw milk blue cheese, citing possible listeria contamination.
The company said no illnesses have been reported in connection with the recall, which is nationwide.
Recent testing by the state of Iowa revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in two lots of products. Maytag Dairy Farms suspended production and distribution while the cause of the problem is determined, according to Whole Foods.
The FDA says listeria can cause people to get so sick they have to be hospitalized. For particularly vulnerable people, the illness can be fatal.
The people most at risk are pregnant women, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems from HIV, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and transplants. (CNN)
CLINTON WINS GEORGIA, VIRGINIA; SANDERS TAKES VERMONT
Hillary Clinton claimed Super Tuesday victories in the Georgia and Virginia Democratic primaries, while rival Bernie Sanders carried his home state of Vermont. Republican races in those states were too close to call as polls closed.
Super Tuesday marked the busiest day of the 2016 primaries, with the biggest single-day delegate haul up for grabs. With elections being held in every region of the country, the contests were putting a spotlight on candidates’ strengths and weaknesses with a broad swath of American voters.
For Clinton, as well as Republican front-runner Donald Trump, the voting marked an opportunity to begin pulling away from their rivals and charting a course toward the general election. Each entered Super Tuesday having won three of four early voting contests, and more strong showings could start putting the nominations out of reach for other contenders.
Clinton led in both Virginia and Georgia among both men and women, as well as black voters. Sanders continued to show strength with young voters, carrying the majority of those under the age of 30, according to early exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.
Democrats were voting in 11 states and American Samoa on Tuesday, with 865 delegates up for grabs. Republicans were voting in 11 states, with 595 delegates at stake.
The contests come at a turbulent time for the GOP, given Trump’s strengths. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have launched furious verbal attacks on the billionaire businessman in recent days, but some in the party establishment fear the anti-Trump campaign has come too late.
Cruz once saw the Southern states that vote Tuesday as his opportunity to stake his claim to the nomination. Now his campaign’s future hinges on a victory in his home state of Texas, the biggest prize up for grabs.
Rubio’s goal is even more modest. He’s seeking to stay competitive in the delegate count and hoping to pull off a win in his home state of Florida on March 15.(ABC)
Apple and F.B.I. Face Off Before House Judiciary Committee
The fight on encryption between Apple and the F.B.I.moved to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, with each side showing no sign of compromise.
Bruce Sewell, Apple’s general counsel, said that the F.B.I.’s demand for the company to break into an iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks that left 14 people dead “would set a dangerous precedent for government intrusion on the privacy and safety of its citizens.”
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, emphasized the importance of law enforcement’s ability to get access to data for criminal investigations.
He said the agency had increasingly confronted cases in which significant evidence resided on devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
“If we cannot access this evidence, it will have ongoing, significant impacts on our ability to identify, stop and prosecute these offenders,” Mr. Comey said.
Mr. Sewell balked at the idea raised by some critics that Apple is resisting the F.B.I.’s requests as a marketing gimmick. He said it made his “blood boil,” adding: “We don’t put up billboards that market our security. We do this because we think protecting security and privacy of hundreds of millions of iPhones is the right thing to do.” (NY Times)