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The Senate has confirmed the highest-ranking Muslim official in the U.S. government. Dilawar Syed was confirmed Thursday as deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration in a 52-42 vote. Syed's nomination had been delayed for more than two years. Republicans in the last Congress blocked Syed's nomination from moving forward, citing the the Small Business administration's payouts to abortion providers, among other things. The stalemate led to Democratic charges of anti-Muslim bias and galvanized some Muslim and Jewish organizations to condemn the delay. President Joe Biden had first nominated the Pakistani-born businessman to the position in March 2021.

President Joe Biden is condemning a wave of state legislation curbing the rights, visibility and access to health care for LGBTQ+ people, especially children. He says the laws are “cruel” and “callous.” Biden commented Thursday at a White House news conference with Britain's prime minister. The president says “it matters a great deal” how everyone is treated in the United States. He spoke directly to LGBTQ+ people who feel under attack, telling them the administration "has your back.” The White House has postponed a Pride Month celebration that had been planned for outdoors on Thursday because of poor air quality. The event will be held on Saturday.

The Supreme Court has issued a surprising ruling in favor of Black voters in a congressional redistricting case, rejecting a Republican-led effort to weaken a landmark voting rights law. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined with the court’s liberals in affirming a lower-court ruling that found a likely violation of the Voting Rights Act in an Alabama congressional map. The map had one majority Black seat out of seven congressional districts in a state where more than one in four residents is Black. The case had been closely watched for its potential to weaken the landmark voting rights law.

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