May 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Plaintiff in major Supreme Court case on transgender rights dies

Aimee Stephens in her wheelchair outside the Supreme Court in October 2019. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Aimee Stephens, a plaintiff in one of the first Supreme Court cases to address the civil rights of transgender people, died of health complications Tuesday in Detroit at age 59, the ACLU said in a statement.

The big picture: Stephens' case against her former employer, a Detroit funeral home owner who testified that she was fired for dressing as a woman, comes in the wake of a larger fight in the U.S. over employment protections for LGBTQ people.

What they're saying: "Aimee didn't set out to be a hero and a trailblazer, but she is one. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her commitment to justice for all people, and her dedication to the trans community," the ACLU — which has represented her case in court — tweeted on Tuesday.

  • "We are saddened to hear that Aimee Stephens, plaintiff on the groundbreaking SCOTUS regarding #trans rights, has passed. We send our love to her beloved wife, Donna, and all those who knew her," the National Center for Transgender Equality tweeted Tuesday.

What to watch: The Court is expected to rule on Stephens' case this summer.

Go deeper: Trump administration argues civil rights law doesn't cover LGBTQ workers

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business