Job discrimination against gay and transgender workers is legal in much of the nation, and the wide-ranging arguments underscored the significance of what could be a momentous ruling. If the court decides that the law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, applies to many millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees across the nation, they would gain basic protections that other groups have long taken for granted. And without Justice Kennedy, who joined four liberals in the 5-to-4 ruling granting same-sex couples the right to marry , the workers who sued their employers in the three cases before the court may face an uphill fight. For the most part, the justices seemed divided along predictable ideological lines on Tuesday. But there was one possible exception: Justice Neil M. Justice Gorsuch is an avowed believer in textualism, meaning that he considers the words Congress enacted rather than evidence drawn from other sources.
9 Landmark Supreme Court Cases That Shaped LGBTQ Rights in America
Supreme Court to hear LGBT job discrimination, gay rights, cases
I t is said that William Brennan, the great US supreme court justice, liked to greet his incoming law clerks with a bracingly simple definition of constitutional doctrine: five votes. Five votes. Does such a bar prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation? In its landmark ruling in Obergefell v Hodges , the court recognized a right to gay marriage, but that was a different supreme court. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who long served as the swing vote in a closely divided court, wrote the majority opinion in Obergefell. The argument is less wrong than it is tiresome. Scanning the intent of a Congress is a notoriously unreliable guide to statutory interpretation and one that conservatives generally abjure.
This year at the Supreme Court: Gay rights, gun rights and Native rights
Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared closely divided over whether a landmark federal law forbidding sex discrimination in the workplace protects gay and transgender employees, with conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch emerging as a potential decisive vote. The nine justices heard two hours of high-profile arguments in three cases that could broaden LGBT rights involving three workers - two gay and one transgender - who sued after being fired by their employers, claiming unlawful discrimination. The Supreme Court has never ruled on transgender rights. Gorsuch suggested that sex, as defined in the law, can be a contributing factor to someone being fired based on their sexual orientation.
Supreme Court on Tuesday wades into a major LGBT rights dispute over whether a landmark decades-old federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex covers gay and transgender workers. The justices, a day after kicking off their new nine-month term, are set to hear two hours of arguments in three related cases, with LGBT rights activists planning demonstrations outside the courthouse. The Supreme Court delivered an important gay rights decision in legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Its dynamics on LGBT issues, however, changed following the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who backed gay rights in major cases and wrote the same-sex marriage ruling.