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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans female transgender athletes from participating in sports that align with their gender identity in public middle schools, high schools and colleges.

The big picture: The ACLU issued a statement saying it intends to take legal action over the move. The bill passed in the state Senate in an 18-15 vote earlier this month. It's the eighth Republican-backed bill signed this year targeting trans youth. A record 89 bills have been introduced so far in 2021 targeting trans youth as of April 20, per ACLU.

Go deeper: NCAA "unequivocally" supports trans students competing in sports

Go deeper

FLOTUS invites transgender teen as guest to joint session of Congress

President Joe Biden and First lady Jill Biden on April 25. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden invited 16-year-old Stella Keating, the first transgender teen to testify before the U.S. Senate, as one of her virtual guests to President Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Keating's invitation comes amid a record number of Republican-backed bills introduced this year targeting trans youth — and after Biden's White House has brought national political attention to trans rights.

Apr 28, 2021 - Health

Many colleges will mandate coronavirus vaccines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A slew of colleges and universities are embracing vaccine mandates — a controversial tool that other large institutions have chosen to avoid, at least for now.

The big picture: For the most part, getting Americans vaccinated is an act of persuasion. But public and private schools alike are taking a harder tack.

The states ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits early

Protesters demand senators support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At least 12 Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.

Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.