Feb 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Texas sues in Supreme Court over California travel ban to 11 states

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (L) and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Photos: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images and Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

Texas filed a lawsuit Monday asking the Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on state-funded travel to 11 states over their LGBTQ policies, arguing it is "infected with animus towards religion" and violates federal laws.

Why it matters: The case raises questions about whether the law prohibiting California government employees from traveling to states deemed to discriminate over gender identity or sexuality can stand.

The big picture: The other states on California's travel ban list are Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, the Carolinas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Iowa.

  • The travel ban was enacted in 2016 following the North Carolina "bathroom bill" limiting LGBTQ rights. Several states were added to the list in 2017 for permitting adoption agencies to bar same-sex couples from adopting children, including Texas.
  • There are exceptions to the ban, including litigation and California law enforcement, public health, welfare or safety protects of the requirement to comply with requests by the federal government to appear before committees.

What they're saying: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state government is "reviewing the complaint," per Politico, which first reported the action. "In California, we have chosen not to use taxpayer money to support laws discriminating against the LGBTQ community," Becerra added.

Read the complaint:

Go deeper: Supreme Court set to weigh in on 2020's most polarizing issues

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Outside the Biden campaign's office in Los Angeles. Photo: Stef Kight/Axios

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Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a high-profile case that could reshape the bounds of First Amendment protections for religion.

Why it matters: The direct question in this case is whether Philadelphia had the right to cancel a contract with an adoption agency that refused to place foster children with same-sex couples. It also poses bigger questions that could lead the court to overturn a key precedent and carve out new protections for religious organizations.

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Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Mississippi's six-week abortion ban on Thursday, indicating the three-judge panel finds the law unconstitutional.

The state of play: The ruling upholds a lower court's May 2019 decision. The Fifth Circuit struck down a 15-week abortion ban in December passed in Mississippi last year.