Georgia Officials File Motion to Dismiss U.S. Department of Justice’s Lawsuit Against SB 202

Georgia officials have filed a motion to dismiss the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) lawsuit against the state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr this week released a statement and called the lawsuit “politically-charged” and said it seeks “to intrude into the State of Georgia’s constitutional authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of its elections.”

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Georgia Gov. Kemp Says No New Lockdowns Coming, Encourages Vaccination

There will not be any new shutdowns or mask mandates in Georgia, as concerns over the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases grows. 

“Georgia will not lock down or impose statewide mask mandates,” Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday on Twitter. “As the first state in the country to reopen over a year ago, we’ve proven that Georgians know how to come together and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

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Georgia Department of Community Health Says COVID-19 Justified No-Bid Contract

Georgia officials rewarded an Alpharetta-based medical company with a generous no-bid contract and cited a provision in state law that allowed them to do so during emergencies — in this case, COVID-19. Jackson Healthcare provides medical staff to several of Georgia’s hospitals and nursing homes through its subsidiary Healthcare Workforce Logistics (HWL). Company CEO Rick Jackson donated generously to Georgia’s top politicians, including Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Jackson’s company subsequently received a $434 million no-bid contract. Company officials said politics “had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

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Critical Race Theory Activist Resigns from the Cobb County School District in Georgia

Jennifer Susko

A Cobb County school counselor who advocates for Critical Race Theory (CRT) and intersectionality has resigned from her job. That woman, Jennifer Susko, said the school district’s ban on anti-racism curricula prompted her to leave. Susko announced her intentions this week.

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Georgia Spa Shooter Receives Four Life Sentences After Guilty Plea

The man who killed eight in a rampage against massage parlor employees in Georgia received four life sentences. 

Robert Aaron Long formalized his deal, agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for being spared the death penalty, in Cherokee County Tuesday morning, according to several reports. He received 35 years tacked onto the life sentences, and will not be eligible for parole. 

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Georgia Campaign Donor Says Politics Did Not Influence Generous No-Bid COVID-19 Contract

Richard L. Jackson

The president of an Alpharetta-based medical company whose CEO donated generously to Georgia’s top politicians and subsequently received a $434 million no-bid contract said Tuesday that politics “had absolutely nothing to do with it.” Rick Jackson, the CEO of Jackson Healthcare, donated roughly $1 million to various statewide political candidates. Jackson donated to, among others, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

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Corporate Donor to Brian Kemp, Geoff Duncan, and Brad Raffensperger Got Exclusive No-Bid Contract for COVID-19 Services

Outside shot of Jackson Healthcare in Alpharetta, GA.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accepted generous campaign donations from a medical company that got a $434 million no-bid contract  with the state to help fight COVID-19. This, according to a new article in The Georgia Health News.

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Savannah Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate Effective Immediately

The city of Savannah has reinstated its indoor mask mandate, effective immediately. 

“Many people have just let their guard down,” Mayor Van Johnson said, explaining the decision. “They’ve stopped masking, they’ve stopped social distancing regardless of vaccination status. None of us want to take a backward step in our return to normalcy, but wearing a mask is the simple, easy, most inexpensive thing we can do to protect ourselves and those around us.”

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Georgia Residents Allegedly Used Paycheck Protection Program Loans on Luxury Items

Federal officials in Georgia have charged 22 people in connection with what they call a fraudulent scheme to obtain approximately $11.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Those people allegedly used that money to purchase luxury vehicles, jewelry, and other personal items.

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Georgia to Issue Licenses to Companies for Medical Marijuana Production

Zane Bader

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission will pick six companies to start producing the plant for medical uses in the state.

Nearly 70 companies applied for licenses to grow marijuana and convert it to oil to treat various illnesses. Once the commission approves them, the companies could be looking at paying up to $200,000 in licensing fees to the state. They will have one year to get product to thousands of Georgians who have been waiting for more than five years.

Patients with a Low THC Oil Registry card legally can purchase up to 20 fluid ounces of the THC oil from licensed dispensaries or pharmacies under legislation signed into law by former Gov. Nathan Deal in 2015. However, without guidelines and a medical marijuana marketplace, the 14,000 registered patients in Georgia have no way of legally obtaining the oil.

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Mitch McConnell Mocks Amy Klobuchar, Other Democrats for Georgia Hearing

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly disapproves of a field hearing that U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) held in Georgia last week to undermine that state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. This, as Klobuchar and four other Democratic U.S. senators who attended refused to answer The Georgia Star News’ questions about other states whose voting requirements are stricter than Georgia’s.

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Georgia County GOP Clashes with Raffensperger After Office Brushes Off Voter Fraud

Just days after Secretary of State’s office chief operation officer Gabriel Sterling brushed off concrete proof of illegal voting in the 2020 election, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) was met with protests in Bibb County. 

GOP protestors in Bibb County held up signs and demanded a full forensic audit of the vote tallies in the Peach State as Raffensperger spoke to the Bibb County GOP, according to WMAZ. 

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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan Proposes Alternate Way to Lower State’s Crime Rate

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) on Thursday proposed a $250 million state tax credit that he said will lower crime statewide. Duncan, in a press release, said he plans to work with members of the Georgia General Assembly on this Law Enforcement Strategic Support (LESS) Crime Act during next year’s legislative session.

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Secretly-Recorded Audio Reveals Oconee County Teacher, in Class, Railing Against Donald Trump

Oconee County High School

A now-retired English instructor at Oconee County High School in Watkinsville used her platform to proselytize to captive students last January in an attempt to turn them against former U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters. The teacher, Lynne Ely, did not return The Georgia Star News’ requests for comment Wednesday. But angry Oconee County residents uploaded a nearly-45 minute recording of Ely ranting against Trump and the events of January 6 on the Facebook group Oconee County 411 (GA).

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Gov. Brian Kemp Appoints Verda Colvin to Georgia Supreme Court

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Tuesday appointed Judge Verda Colvin to fill a vacancy and serve on the state’s Supreme Court, after the resignation of Justice Harold D. Melton.

“It is an honor to appoint such an experienced and accomplished justice to our state’s Supreme Court. With Justice Colvin on the bench, Georgia’s highest court is gaining an immensely talented and principled judge who will help guide it in the years to come,” Kemp said of his decision to select Colvin.

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David Ralston Proposes New Resources to Fight Atlanta’s Crime Problem

GA David Ralston

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) this week proposed spending $3 million in additional state law enforcement resources to fight Atlanta’s worsening crime problem. This, according to an emailed press release.

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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich Endorses Mike Collins in Race to Replace Rep. Jody Hice

Newt Gingrich

Former Georgia U.S. Representative and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich endorsed Mike Collins in the GOP primary to represent Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.

The seat, which Collins is aiming for, is being vacated by Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA-10). Hice, instead of running for reelection to Congress, has decided to launch a primary challenge attempt against embattled Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

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Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Nears Pre-Pandemic Levels

Woman checking out a business

Georgia’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Department of Labor officials said this week.

The state’s unemployment rate in June was 4%; three times lower than what it was at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020. Georgia’s unemployment rate was 3.1% in February 2020.

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Speaker of Georgia House Demands Investigation into Fulton County Election Irregularities

Speaker David Ralston presides over the Georgia House chamber

Georgia’s Speaker of the House David Ralston is demanding an investigation to “determine if any irregularities or willful fraud occurred” in the state’s largest metropolis last November, saying recent revelations about problems with vote counting in Fulton County merit an independent probe.

Ralston sent a letter late last week to Fulton County election officials requesting that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation be allowed to conduct the investigation.

The request comes after Just the News reported last month that an independent observer for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger noted two dozen pages of irregularities in the Atlanta vote counting center last Nov. 3, including double scanning of ballots, insecure transportation of ballots and possible voter privacy violations.

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Democrat Claim of ‘Smoking Gun’ at U.S. Senate Rules Hearing Immediately Debunked as Quote Taken Out of Context

Amy Klobuchar Atlanta

ATLANTA, Georgia —  U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) came to Atlanta Monday to bash Georgia’s Senate Bill 202, and she left believing she had uncovered “a smoking gun” that proved the law was a case of overreach.

That “smoking gun” was testimony from Georgia State Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta). But Harrell’s words were refuted by another state legislator — a Republican — when The Georgia Star News contacted that man Monday.

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Georgia Election Official Brushes Off Proof of Voter Fraud as ‘Normal’

Andrew Sterling Elections

One Georgia election official who gained national notoriety for pushing back against former President Donald J. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the state is now shrugging off proof that such fraud existed. 

After a voter data analyst named Mike Davis said thousands of Georgians voted in the wrong counties in 2020, based on data he requested from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office. 

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Fulton County Fails to Meet Their Own Extended Response Date for Providing Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody Documents from the November 2020 Election

Fulton County Response

Fulton County officials have failed to meet the extended response date they set for providing The Georgia Star News with complete chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 3, 2020, general election.

More than seven months and five follow-up requests after The Star News filed an initial open records request on December 1, 2020, Fulton County Legal Assistant Shana Eatmon said they needed until July 15, to provide the requested documents.

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Fulton County Commission Chair Says All Georgia Counties Should be Investigated for Potential Fraud

Robb Pitts Fulton County

Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, sent a letter to Georgia House of Representative Speaker David Ralston claiming that all counties within the state should be investigated for potential fraud.

“If you are requesting that Fulton County be the subject of such an investigation, then I believe it would only be fair that all counties with issues be subject to investigation,” Pitts wrote in his letter to Speaker Ralston.

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Georgians ‘Overwhelming Support Key Provisions’ in Highly Politicized Election Law Changes

"VOTE ONE MORE TIME" sign on an electric pole in Atlanta, Georgia

The results of a poll of likely Georgia voters indicates overwhelming support for requiring absentee voters in the state to provide photo identification – including from minorities and independents.

The poll, conducted July 12-14 by ARW Strategies of Illinois, puts overall support for the absentee “voter ID” measure – part of a new election reform law signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp in March –  at 67 percent (2-1) of those likely to vote.

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Americans for Prosperity-Georgia to Host Rally Against Joe Biden’s Reckless Spending

Members of Americans for Prosperity – Georgia (AFP-GA) are scheduled to host an event opposing what they said was U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed $4 trillion infrastructure plan. AFP-GA has scheduled the event for 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday July 23 at Tom Triplett Community Park, Pavilion No. 1 in Pooler, Georgia.

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Georgia Senate to Hold Hearing on Buckhead ‘Divorce’ from Atlanta

Atlanta skyline at night

The Buckhead neighborhood’s efforts to secede from Atlanta have cleared another hurdle, as the state Senate will convene to debate a pair of bills aimed at separating the suburb from the city during its upcoming special session. 

“Bill sponsor Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), who has served in the state legislature’s upper chamber for ten years, told Breitbart News he has ‘never seen’ Buckhead cityhood gain so much traction before,” Breitbart reported. 

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State Sen. Burt Jones Requests Senate Investigation into Numerous and Documented Failures of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Cited by 45th President Donald Trump

Burt Jones

Georgia State Senator Burt Jones (R-Jackson) on Thursday made a formal request for an investigation by the Senate Government Oversight Committee into the failures of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which he characterized as numerous and documented, catching the attention of 45th President Donald Trump.

In a statement issued by Trump Friday, which included a copy of Jones’ letter, he said:

The Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, together with Brad Raffensperger, allowed this Election in Georgia to be Rigged and Stolen. Why they ever agreed to Stacey Abram’s Consent Decree nobody will ever know. Thank you to Senator Burt Jones and all of the other Patriots for continuing the fight. Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger have done an absolutely terrible job of watching over Voter Integrity in Georgia. They must be held accountable!

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Convicted Felon Sentenced to Prison for Robbing Traveler at Georgia I-75 Rest Area

James Clemente Holloway

Federal officials have sentenced a Florida man — also a convicted felon — to federal prison following a high-speed chase along Interstate 75 after he robbed a traveler at gunpoint. U.S. District Judge Louis Sands sentenced that man, James Clemente Holloway, 43, of Jacksonville, Florida, to serve 80 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. This, after Sands previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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Trump Praises Efforts of State Sen. Burt Jones, Hits Gov. Kemp and Secretary of State Raffensperger

Former President Donald Trump praised State Senator Burt Jones (R-Jackson) for his efforts in examining the results of the 2020 election, while knocking Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for their lack of action.

“Thank you to Senator Burt Jones and all of the other Patriots for continuing the fight. Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger have done an absolutely terrible job of watching over Voter Integrity in Georgia. They must be held accountable!” Trump said in a statement.

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Atlanta’s Rising Crime Rate to Get Scrutiny from Georgia Legislators

Members of the Georgia House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee are scheduled to meet Monday to address Atlanta’s rising rates of crime. State Rep. J. Collins (R-Villa Rica) chairs the committee. Those committee members are scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Monday, July 19, in Room 406 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building in Atlanta.

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Calls for Fulton County Officials to Be Fired After Repeated Election Mistakes

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Thursday called for two of the top elections officials in Fulton County to be fired after numerous mistakes in the election process have been discovered.

“Fulton County’s continued failures have gone on long enough with no accountability. Rick Barron and Ralph Jones, Fulton’s registration chief, must be fired and removed from Fulton’s elections leadership immediately. Fulton’s voters and the people of Georgia deserve better,” Raffensperger said in a tweet.

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RNC Reminds MLB All-Star Game Viewers That Democrats Got Game Pulled Out of Georgia

The Republican National Committee (RNC) released a television ad during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game and told Atlanta residents that Democrats stole the game from their city, all to push a divisive political agenda. The ad features former Georgia State Rep. Melvin Everson. Everson, according to Ballotpedia, is a Republican who served in the legislature from 2005 to 2011.

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Southwest Georgia Resident Criminally Charged with CARES Act Fraud

A federal grand jury has returned a 12-count indictment charging a Sycamore, Georgia, resident with bank fraud, money laundering and making false statements related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Officials indicted Anthony C. Boncimino, 46, this month with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of money laundering and four counts of making false statements.

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Lawsuit to Inspect Fulton County Mail-In Ballots Amended to Include New Evidence Hand Recount Audit ‘Was Riddled with Massive Errors and Provable Fraud’

Petitioners in a lawsuit to inspect Fulton County mail-in absentee ballots from the November 3, 2020, election have added new claims and provided new evidence that the hand recount audit was riddled wth massive errors and provable fraud.

VoterGA, organizers of the lawsuit, made the stunning announcement on Tuesday that revealed “a whopping 60%” error rate in Fulton County’s hand count audit held on November 14 and 15, 2020.

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Georgia U.S. House of Representatives Candidate Matt Richards Says His Neighbors Worry Most About Labor

Matt Richards, running to replace current U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Monday that people in his district worry most right now about a labor shortage. “I hear it every day from business owners,” Richards told The Georgia Star News this week.

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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan Defends SB 202, Despite Not Fighting for Special Session on the Matter Late Last Year

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan appeared on FOX News this past weekend and defended the state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. On Monday, though, Duncan and members of his staff would not say why he did not fight for a special session to address these matters late last year.

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Georgia U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk Co-Sponsors Bill to Strengthen Digital Identity Infrastructure

Person on Apple Laptop with credit card in other hand

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) and three other congressmen have introduced legislation that aims to modernize the United States’ digital identity infrastructure and protect Americans from having their personal information stolen. This, according to an emailed newsletter that Loudermilk sent his constituents Friday.

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Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Employing and Exploiting Illegal Aliens in Georgia

A Bartow County, Georgia businessman has pleaded guilty in federal court to harboring illegal aliens for financial gain. That man, Juan Antonio Perez, 48, of Rydal, illegally encouraged and induced aliens to reside in the United States where they worked for his own commercial advantage and private financial gain. This, according to a press release the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia published this week.

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Lumber Demand Drives Georgia Home Prices Higher

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

A spike in lumber prices has compounded the state’s housing crisis, Georgia housing advocates said.

The price of lumber increased by 300% this spring compared with the same time last year, reports show. The building material reached an all-time high of $1,515 per thousand board feet on May 28.

The price of oriented strand board, which is most often used for sheathing, has increased by 400% since last spring.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp Officially Launches Campaign, Rails Against Cancel Culture

Brian Kemp

  Georgia Governor Brian Kemp officially launched his re-election campaign on Saturday at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. At his event, Kemp railed against the “cancel culture” of rival Democrats and urged Republicans to remain involved at the highest levels. “We need everyone engaged, because we know the Democrats…

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Man Charged with Triple Homicide at Georgia Country Club

A man described as a “lone shooter” was arrested in Chamblee Thursday and charged with the murder of a Kennessaw golf pro, along with two others. 

“Bryan Anthony Rhoden of Atlanta was taken into custody in DeKalb County, more than 25 miles from Pinetree Country Club where golf pro Gene Siller, 46, was shot dead Saturday afternoon, according to Cobb officials,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. “Rhoden is charged with three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping, Cobb police Chief Tim Cox said during a hastily arranged news conference Thursday evening.”

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Augusta Commissioner Charged with Destroying Records, Lying to Federal Investigators

Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building

Federal officials have charged an elected official in the Augusta city government with a two-count indictment charging him with destroying records in a federal investigation and lying to federal investigators researching the case. That elected official, Sammie Lee Sias, 66, serves as District 4 commissioner on the Augusta Commission. Officials have charged Sias with destruction, alteration, falsification of records in federal investigations, and false statement or representation made to a department or agency of the United States.

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Georgia Attorney General Blasts Biden Administration’s ‘Unconstitutional Changes’ Regarding Pronoun Policies

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and other state attorneys general this week told U.S. President Joe Biden they formally oppose new federal guidelines they say will force radical changes on employers and schools nationwide. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Education issued these guidelines. The group of attorneys general responded to the federal agencies’ claim that using biologically accurate pronouns could violate the law.

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