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Photo: DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP via Getty Images

A federal court on Friday blocked a Tennessee law that requires businesses and public facilities to post a sign notifying patrons and visitors that they allow transgender individuals to use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

State of play: Judge Aleta Trauger of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted a preliminary injunction halting the implementation of the law.

  • The ACLU filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of businesses, which have "trans-inclusive restroom practices."

What they're saying: Trauger said that since the plaintiffs argued that "the First Amendment typically does not permit such a mandate unless it is narrowly tailored to satisfy a compelling government purpose," they "are likely to succeed on their challenge," so allowing the law to be enforced while the litigation is ongoing would "harm them irreparably."

  • "The plaintiffs have presented evidence that they have strived to be welcoming spaces for communities that include transgender individuals and that the signage required by the Act would disrupt the welcoming environments that they wish to provide," Trauger wrote.

Catch up quick: In May, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed the bill into law, which demands businesses that are trans-inclusive display a sign that reads: "This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom."

Go deeper

Updated Oct 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court temporarily reinstates Texas abortion ban

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday temporarily reinstated Texas' controversial abortion ban, hours after the state requested an emergency intervention.

Why it matters: The three-judge panel's decision will allow Texas to once again enforce the ban despite a lower court judge's earlier ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, which has been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.

2 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.