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Trump’s sister retires, ending inquiry into judicial ethics complaints

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s sister has retired as a federal appellate judge in Philadelphia, ending a civil misconduct inquiry launched after a report that she participated in Trump family schemes to dodge taxes.

The retirement of Maryanne Trump Barry was revealed in an April 1 order signed by a top court official in New York, where the misconduct case was assigned to prevent conflicts of interest for judges who knew Barry.

A judicial panel began the review in response to four citizen complaints filed in October after The New York Times published a story alleging the president and his siblings evaded inheritance taxes.

The April 1 order said Barry’s voluntary retirement ends the review stemming from claims based on the news article alleging that Barry may have committed misconduct relating to tax and financial transactions that occurred mostly in the 1980s and 1990s.

Barry, 82, was not identified by name in the order, but the facts matched her circumstances.

The order said the complaint process was meant to correct conditions interfering with the “effective and expeditious” administration of court business. It said the resignation meant that Barry can no longer perform any judicial duties and thus can no longer be investigated.

Barry didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

The 15,000-word Times report last year said that Trump’s father, Fred, transferred ownership of most of his real estate empire to his four living children before he died in the late 1990s.

The Times investigation, based in part on more than 100,000 pages of financial documents including confidential tax returns from the father and his companies, concluded that the value of the properties was vastly understated when they were reported as $41.4 million. It said the properties were later sold over the next decade for over 16 times that amount.

The Times reported Trump’s parents transferred over $1 billion to their children. It said that the transfer should have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million, but that the children paid only about $52.2 million.

Trump has called the Times exposé a false “hit piece.”

Scott Shuchart, an attorney who filed one of the complaints, said he was “absolutely disappointed” that Barry was able to end scrutiny of her actions by retiring.

“If the Times story is correct, then she participated in a decades-long multimillion-dollar tax fraud. That should be an impeachable offense. She gets her full salary,” he said.

“I think it’s appalling that we’re continuing to pay this criminal and that she now has completely avoided consequence,” Shuchart added. “It’s ridiculous.”

If members of the family did break any laws, the expiration of a statute of limitations makes a criminal prosecution unlikely, though lawsuits might be possible.

With a recently approved retroactive pay raise for federal appellate judges, Barry will receive $223,700 annually in retirement.

After her brother’s election, Barry gave up her court staff and took inactive status in early 2017.

A Republican, she was nominated for a judgeship by President Ronald Reagan and was elevated to the circuit court by President Bill Clinton.

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Trans workers not protected by civil rights law, Trump admin tells Supreme Court

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The Trump administration on Friday filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that transgender workers are not protected by federal civil rights law and can be fired because of their gender identity.

The brief was submitted in a case concerning Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was fired from a Detroit funeral home after she informed her employer that she was beginning her gender transition. The case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., is one of three cases concerning LGBTQ workers’ rights that the Supreme Court is expected to hear this fall.

Aimee Stephens and her wife Donna, right.Courtesy ACLU

The brief, submitted by Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco and other Department of Justice attorneys, argues that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, “does not bar discrimination because of transgender status.”

“In 1964, the ordinary public meaning of ‘sex’ was biological sex. It did not encompass transgender status,” the brief states. “In the particular context of Title VII — legislation originally designed to eliminate employment discrimination against racial and other minorities — it was especially clear that the prohibition on discrimination because of ‘sex’ referred to unequal treatment of men and women in the workplace.”

If the Supreme Court sides with the Trump administration, it will be overturning a decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with Stephens in March 2018.

“Discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII,” Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote in the 6th Circuit’s decision. “The unrefuted facts show that the Funeral Home fired Stephens because she refused to abide by her employer’s stereotypical conception of her sex.”



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Garden tax outrage: How PM Jeremy Corbyn could target YOUR home in Labour housing ‘attack’

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JEREMY CORBYN’S radical plan to overhaul garden tax has been rubbished as “wreaking havoc on the housing market”, piling huge debt on everyone from single homeowners to retired people and families with larger properties.

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Trans workers not protected by civil rights law, Trump admin tells Supreme Court

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The Trump administration on Friday filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that transgender workers are not protected by federal civil rights law.

The brief was submitted in a case concerning Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was fired from a Detroit funeral home after she informed her employer that she was beginning her gender transition. The case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., is one of three cases concerning LGBTQ workers’ rights that the Supreme Court is expected to hear this fall.

Aimee Stephens and her wife Donna, right.Courtesy ACLU

The brief, submitted by Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco and other Department of Justice attorneys, argues that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, “does not bar discrimination because of transgender status.”

“In 1964, the ordinary public meaning of ‘sex’ was biological sex. It did not encompass transgender status,” the brief states. “In the particular context of Title VII — legislation originally designed to eliminate employment discrimination against racial and other minorities — it was especially clear that the prohibition on discrimination because of ‘sex’ referred to unequal treatment of men and women in the workplace.”

If the Supreme Court sides with the Trump administration, it will be overturning a decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with Stephens in March 2018.

“Discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII,” Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote in the 6th Circuit’s decision. “The unrefuted facts show that the Funeral Home fired Stephens because she refused to abide by her employer’s stereotypical conception of her sex.”



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