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Transgender student, school settle case

A transgender teenager seeking access to the boys' locker room has reached a legal settlement with his school system on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Under the agreement reached with the Talbot County public school system announced Monday, 16-year-old Max Brennan will have "permanent" access to the restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities designated for boys at his school in St. Michaels.

Brennan and his parents initially sued the school system after officials insisted he use a private, unisex bathroom or the girls' restrooms and locker room to change for gym class.

The settlement resolves the case without a finding of liability, but in the agreement, Brennan's attorneys said, the school system acknowledged "the likelihood of liability" in light of a judge's ruling in the case.

In March, U.S. District Judge George Russell of Baltimore declined to dismiss the case and said transgender students cannot be barred from school restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The ruling was the first to find that Maryland's constitution includes protections for transgender people.

SUV in pursuit crashes, killing 5 people

BIG WELLS, Texas -- The U.S. Border Patrol said an SUV that crashed, killing at least five people, was being chased by an agent who suspected it was part of a "smuggling event."

The Border Patrol said in a statement that the agent noticed three vehicles traveling in tandem around 11 a.m. Sunday. The agent stopped one vehicle and another agent stopped the other. Multiple arrests were made from both vehicles.

The third vehicle -- the SUV -- kept going, and a sheriff's deputy joined the chase before the fatal crash.

Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd said the SUV went out of control at more than 100 mph and overturned on Texas Highway 85.

"From what we can tell the vehicle ran off the road and caught gravel and then tried to recorrect," Boyd said, adding that "caused the vehicle to turn over several times."

Authorities said most of the 14 occupants of the SUV were thrown from the vehicle. Many were believed to be living in the country illegally.

Court rejects 'millionaire tax' ballot plan

BOSTON -- Massachusetts' highest court on Monday struck down a proposed "millionaire tax" ballot question, blocking it from going before state voters in November and ending advocates' hopes for generating some $2 billion in additional revenue for education and transportation.

The Supreme Judicial Court, in a 5-2 ruling, said the initiative petition should not have been certified by Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey because it violated the "relatedness" clause of the state constitution that prohibits ballot questions from mingling unrelated subjects -- in this case, taxing and spending.

The proposed constitutional amendment -- referred to by its proponents as the "Fair Share Amendment," would have imposed a surtax of 4 percent on any portion of an individual's annual income that exceeds $1 million with the proceeds earmarked for transportation and education.

Several business groups sued to block the law. The court's ruling was a blow for Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of labor unions, community and religious organizations that collected more than 150,000 signatures in support of the tax.

Justices back Floridian in speech case

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court sided 8-1 Monday with a man who sued the Florida city where he lives after being arrested for his speech during a public comment portion of a city council meeting.

Fane Lozman filed suit after being arrested at a 2006 council meeting in Riviera Beach while talking about corruption in the county during a public comment portion of the meeting. Lozman believes he was arrested in retaliation for being an outspoken critic of the city.

A lower court said Lozman was barred from bringing a lawsuit for retaliation because the jury found a police officer had probable cause to arrest him for disturbing a lawful assembly.

However, the Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the existence of probable cause for an arrest shouldn't bar Lozman from bringing his case.

"What happened to me was wrong. It happens all the time to public speakers. This is going to tell municipalities that you're not immunized from legal actions. There is a price to pay," Lozman said after the decision was announced.

A Section on 06/19/2018

Print Headline: Transgender student, school settle case Five people dead in SUV crash in Texas Court rejects 'millionaire tax' ballot plan Justices side with Florida man over suit

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