Veterans in Congress Criticize Trump’s Military Transgender Ban
Pushback against policy announcement is bipartisan

Sen. Tammy Duckworth called President Trump’s announcement banning transgender individuals from the military “discriminatory and counterproductive.”  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Veterans in Congress from across the political spectrum pushed back against President Donald Trump’s announcement banning transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump said that based on the advice of military experts, transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to “serve in any capacity in U.S. Military.” The president cited medical costs and unit disruption as part of his reasoning.

North Carolina May Be on Verge of Repealing Bathroom Bill
Special session will address state law on access by transgender people

The North Carolina state legislature building is seen in Raleigh, N.C. A special session will take up a state law that requires transgender people to use the public restroom matching the sex on their birth certificate. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A controversial North Carolina law that restricts bathroom access for transgender individuals will be the subject of a special session of the state’s legislature Wednesday — and the incoming governor said that he had been assured by lawmakers that the law would be repealed in full.

The governor-elect, Democrat Roy Cooper, said in a statement Monday that he had been assured by Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, both Republicans, that a session would be called to deal with the law, known as HB2. Said Cooper: “I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full.”

Supreme Court Decides to Enter Transgender Bathroom Debate
Justices may stop short of settling issue nationwide

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal in the case involving a transgender boy who challenged his school district policy that prevented him from using the boy's restroom at his high school. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to step into the heated social debate about whether schools should allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice — but the justices could stop short of settling the issue nationwide.

The justices announced that they will hear an appeal in the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy who challenged a Virginia school district policy that prevented him from using the boys’ restroom at his high school.

Ep. 24: Justice Breyer's Pivotal Role
The Week Ahead

The Supreme Court begins its new term with several hot-button issues to consider, says CQ Roll Call's Legal Affairs writer Todd Ruger. A justice to watch is Stephen Breyer, who could play a pivotal role on the short-handed court in deciding transgender bathroom rights, redistricting and how it affects voting and immigration law. Show Notes:

Poll: Burr Holds Slight Lead Over Ross in North Carolina
Transgender bathroom bill a drag on GOP governor, poll shows

A poll of North Carolina voters shows incumbent Sen. Richard M. Burr holding only a 2-point lead over Democratic challenger Deborah Ross. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Monmouth University poll showed Wednesday that Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr holds only a slight lead over former North Carolina state Rep. Deborah Ross in a race that could be tilting toward the Democrats.

[Ratings Change in Two Top Senate Races]

Pentagon Lifts Transgender Ban, Lawmakers Weigh In
Policy change draws fire from Republicans

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that transgender service personnel may serve openly. (DoD photo)

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter on Thursday announced the Pentagon has lifted a ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, effective immediately.  

The policy change, which will take a year to implement fully, will allow the military to avail itself of “all talent possible” to remain the best fighting force in the world, Carter said.  

Democrats Select First Transgender Nominees in Colorado and Utah
Two 'Mistys' face stiff competition in November

Utah Democrat Misty Snow will take on incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee in November. (Courtesy Misty Kathrine Snow Facebook page)

Democrats in Utah and Colorado will have their first transgender nominees in the general election.  

In Utah, Misty Snow, a resident  of Salt Lake City, outpaced marriage counselor Jonathan Swinton  by almost 19 points, earning the right to take on Republican Sen. Mike Lee in November.  

LaVerne Cox Advocates for LGBT Data with Dems
The transgender actress spoke about the need for better information

Laverne Cox calledfor federal surveys to include data on sexual orientation and gender identity. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Actress LaVerne Cox joined Democratic members of Congress to advocate for better data collection of LGBT individuals.  

Cox, an actress on the popular show "Orange is the New Black," was invited by Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., in support of legislation he introduced in May to better track people LGBT in Census and federal data.  

Kansas Lawmakers Enter Bathroom Debate
State resolution condemns Obama directive on transgender student rights

Protestors against North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill gathered across the street from the  state legislative building last month. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Conservative lawmakers in Kansas are joining the national debate over transgender rights with an official rebuke of the Obama administration's bathroom directive.  

The state's Republican-controlled House and Senate are working to end their 2016 sessions with a set of actions — including a non-binding Senate resolution scheduled for a vote Wednesday — condemning last month's directive that public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms they choose, according to local media reports.  

N.C. Senate Candidate on Bathroom Law: 'Just Shoot Me Now'
Sean Haugh has had it with the debate on HB2

North Carolina Libertarian Senate candidate Sean Haugh has had it with the debate over the state's controversial transgender bathroom law.  

Haugh, a pizza delivery man who previously ran for the Senate in 2014 and is running against Democrat Deborah Ross and incumbent Republican Richard Burr, posted a video about the controversy that has drawn nationwide attention.