Oct 5, 2017

Sessions reverses transgender worker protection policy

Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a memo to heads of federal agencies and attorneys reversing "a federal government policy that said transgender workers were protected from discrimination," according to BuzzFeed News, which obtained the memo.

  • Sessions wrote: "Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se." He added that nothing in the memo "should be construed to condone mistreatment on the basis of gender identity."
  • Devin O'Malley, Department of Justice spokesman, said in a statement to Axios: "The Department of Justice cannot expand the law beyond what Congress has provided...the last administration abandoned that fundamental principle.
  • DNC spokesman Joel Kasnetz responded: "This week, Jeff Sessions escalated the Trump administration's war on LGBTQ people...Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions have revealed their real goal – turn the clock back to a time when life was even more difficult for LGBTQ people, transgender individuals in particular."

Why it matters: Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act "prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex," per BuzzFeed, but "does not address LGBT rights directly." Former Attorney General Eric Holder applied it to gender identity, but Sessions said it "only covers discrimination between 'men and women,'" BuzzFeed reports.

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.