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In CA: Workplace equality gets a major win; police can keep their immunity

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The Supreme Court ruled LGBTQ workers cannot be fired under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch wrote the decision.

USA TODAY

The FBI joins the investigation into the death of a Black man found hanging from a tree in Los Angeles County. And the Supreme Court rules gay and transgender people should have equal workplace rights, and leaves the state’s sanctuary immigration policies in place. Plus: Gov. Newsom defends the pace of reopening.

It’s Arlene with news for Monday.

But first, Tulare Congressman Devin Nunes wants answers and he wants them now: Who in the wild, wild world of sports are Devin Nunes’ cow and Devin Nunes’ Mom on Twitter?

In California brings you top stories and commentary from across the USA TODAY Network and beyond. Get it free, straight to your inbox.  

Let’s start with some headlines: 

The University of California’s governing board voted unanimously to support a measure to restore affirmative action programs put into place to remedy historical and institutional discrimination

The man known as the Golden State Killer will plead guilty to charges of murder, rape and kidnapping in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, the LA Times reported. Joseph DeAngelo is believed to have killed 12 people and raped 45 women between 1976 and 1986.

Gov. Gavin Newsom gives the state Legislature money back for seniors and child care for low-income families in his latest budget proposal. Now, it’s the move of the state Legislature, which previously recommended borrowing, deferring payments and taxing in lieu of $54.3 billion in cuts to get to a balanced budget

Also Monday, Newsom defended the state’s pace of reopening: “We have to recognize you can’t be in a permanent state where people are locked away for months and months and months and months on end.”

Pollution, deferred maintenance, a scourge of invasive plant species and soaring numbers of visitors make these the 8 most endangered national parks. The list includes Joshua Tree. 

Police unions representing San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles law enforcement members launched full-page ads in outlets including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, putting out a proposal for reform and to root out racist officers from their ranks. There was skepticism.

Whether it’s unconscious, explicit, institutional or research bias, discrimination in the health care system contributes to the stark disparities seen in how COVID-19 sickens and kills patients of color, health care experts agree.

Nearly 43,000 pounds of ground beef including packages sold at Walmart stores are being recalled because of possible E. coli contamination. Check your package against these numbers

FBI joins investigation into hanging death of an African American man

The FBI and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra will oversee an investigation into the death of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man who was found hanging from a tree in the city of Palmdale, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has deferred making a final determination on the cause of Fuller’s death pending further investigation, though last week investigators said it appeared to be a suicide.

A petition signed by 260,000 people since then called on investigators to look deeper.

L.A. sheriff’s investigators also plan to reach out to San Bernardino County authorities about whether there’s a link to a separate hanging death.

In that case, the body of a 38-year-old man later identified as Malcolm Harsch was found May 31 hanging from a tree in Victorville, which is about 50 miles east of Palmdale.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators initially said there were “no indications at the scene that suggested foul play” but his death is still under investigation.

Families of both men said they did not believe the men to be suicidal. 

The Oscars, in the Milky Way, the Olsen twins and popular pandemic buys

The 93rd Academy Awards, originally scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021, has been delayed to April 25 because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

You might feel alone, but you’re not. You’re really not. A new study on life in our Milky Way galaxy confirms it.

If you’re turning 34, we should not all have to know about it, k? Unless you’re San Francisco’s favorite twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. See them through the years.

We heard pandemic and we got busy. We bought eggs, pasta, beans, canned meat, obviously toilet paper and these 15 other things.

What else we’re talking about

What started as a one-time event to provide food to farmworkers during the pandemic has spread to counties across the Central Coast and north to Washington state. Feeding The Frontline has provided 7,000 farmworkers more than 200 tons of hot meals, groceries and personal protective equipment

With the help of an aerial drone, rescuers found a teen who fell 100 feet into the Sacramento River

For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, hundreds of protesters knelt silently outside Santa Paula Police Department headquarters, one of several protests that continued over the weekend across the state

Supreme Court on immigration, LGBTQ workplace rights and police immunity

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Trump administration’s bid to throw out a California immigrant-sanctuary law that limits local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities

The justices’ order leaves in place lower court rulings that upheld the law. 

The administration said the 2017 state immigrant-sanctuary measure makes it harder to enforce federal immigration laws. Attorneys for the Golden State said encouraging local police to work with ICE is counterproductive because it makes people less likely to report crimes if they believe they’ll be deported for doing so.

Also Monday, the court on a 6-3 vote ruled that a landmark civil rights law barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

The decision was written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first nominee to the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices. Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.

The dissenters said because Congress had not included sexual orientation on its list of federally protected traits, the court should not take the liberty of doing so.

The court also declined to hear a case to consider limiting police immunitythat generally shields police accused of misconduct from being sued.

Some justices, lower court judges and scholars on both the left and right have questioned that legal doctrine for creating a nearly impossible standard for victims to meet and a nearly blanket immunity for those accused of misconduct. 

In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: KTLA, Fresno Bee, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Outside Magazine.

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