Hill to Hall: Oct. 21–26

Oct. 21: Oregon leaders pledge to uphold transgender protections

Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Tina Kotek, D–Portland, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D–Ore., came out in support of transgender Oregonians and promised to push for anti-discrimination legislation. “We will not let the Trump Administration tear down our community,” Kotek said in a press conference hosted by Basic Rights Oregon, “and for those right now who are very scared about what this means, please know that my colleagues and I in the Oregon Legislature will do everything we can to protect you.” This statement was in response to an unreleased Department of Health and Human Services memo proposing a strict definition of gender based on one’s genitals at birth, obtained by The New York Times.

Oct. 23: U.S. to withdraw from nuclear arms treaty

President Donald Trump announced the United States will withdraw from a 30-year-old nuclear arms treaty with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by then-President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, banned both countries from possessing short and intermediate-range missiles. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton confirmed the plans to withdraw after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials.

Oct. 25: Trump can’t withhold funds from sanctuary cities, judge rules

Federal Judge Richard A. Jones has ruled in favor of Portland and Seattle in a case regarding President Donald Trump’s January 2017 executive order declaring cities refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities ineligible for federal grants. Jones’ ruling was based on an August 2018 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declaring the executive order unconstitutional on the basis that only Congress, not the president, has the authority to withhold federal grants from sanctuary jurisdictions.

Oct. 26: Appeals court blocks release of 2019 legislative proposals

Oregon’s Court of Appeals granted a request by state officials to block the release of more than 250 bill proposals for 2019 just minutes before a deadline for disclosure set by a Marion County judge earlier in the week. Attorneys pushing for disclosure argued that Gov. Kate Brown was attempting to keep her proposals out of the public eye until the conclusion of the tightly contested gubernatorial race between Brown and Republican candidate Knute Buehler.