Clayton County Supreme Court opinion and dissents. From these understandings, the Court articulates a clear rule: “An employer violates Title VII when it intentionally fires an individual employee based in part on sex.”. Alito also attacks the majority’s use of comparators in its purported but-for analysis. A non-exhaustive list: 1. Gorsuch lays out why in just five crisp sentences on the first page of his majority opinion: In Title VII, Congress outlawed discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Justice Kavanaugh filed a dissenting opinion. In this Law and Liberty essay, law professor John McGinnis, who is very high on, if… Justice Gorsuch wrote for the majority, framing the decision as a “straightforward application of legal terms with plain and settled meanings.”, The Court begins its opinion by assessing the ordinary public meaning of the terms of Title VII. Neither man has shown much sympathy for LGBTQ rights plaintiffs in the past. At the very least, Bostock suggests that this conservative Supreme Court can follow the clear text of a law, even when that reading points in a liberal direction. Finally, the Court dispenses with what it describes as the employers’ “naked policy appeals.” It explains that policy concerns such as the fate of sex-segregated workplace facilities and employers’ religious convictions are not before the Court at this time. But the Eleventh Circuit held in Bostock v. Clayton County Board of Commissioners, 723 F. App’x 964 (11th Cir. If there are two female employees, but the employer only fires the one assigned male at birth, this too is because of sex. Notably, the Court does not rest its reasoning on the sex-stereotyping theories also advanced by the employees. The Court moves next to address the employers’ statutory interpretation arguments, which it describes as “repackag[ing] errors we’ve already seen and this Court’s precedents have already rejected.” It rejects the employers’ argument that in ordinary conversation, LGBTQ discrimination is not referred to as sex discrimination. But it is unclear whether Bostock will entirely ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Justice Kavanaugh’s dissent showed that the majority did not interpret Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As a concrete illustration, the Essay analyzes the main statutory question presented in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020). The court’s assertion that an “individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions” is manifestly false, Dr. Donohue contends, as is the following claim … If you picked A, you agree with Justice Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County. Whether and how the First Amendment or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act may interact with Title VII is for a future case to decide. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion is clear, straightforward, and correct. Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Leigh Thomas is a student at Harvard Law School. Turning to the employers’ arguments about legislative purpose and consequences, the Court emphasizes that when the text of the statute is clear and unambiguous, legislative history has no bearing. So the fate of individual LGBTQ workers remains unclear — at least for employees with bosses who object to LGBTQ people on religious grounds. June 16, 2020 at 5:42 p.m. UTC On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a landmark rulingfor LGBTQ rights. Both Justice Gorsuch’s majority opinion and the dissents by Justices Alito and Kavanaugh offer avowedly textualist analyses of Title VII’s “ordinary meaning,” yet their reasoning and conclusions diverge. of Water and Power v. Manhart. The decision is an historic victory for LGBTQ advocates, arriving more than 45 years after the introduction … Only the text of Title VII matters. But the sheer force of the plaintiffs’ textual arguments in Bostock appears to have weighed heavily on both men. If a male and female employee are both attracted to men, but the employer only fires the man, the decision is because of sex. With respect to sexual orientation, the employees argued that employers discriminate on the basis of sex when they rely on sex stereotypes that men should be attracted to women and women should be attracted to men. OnLabor is a blog dev­oted to workers, unions, and their politics. Policy Staff. The high court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, could have implications far beyond employment discrimination. For Justice Gorsuch, delivering the majority judgment, ‘sex’ means (or meant in 1964) biological distinctions between men and women … Title VII bans any employment discrimination that occurs “because of ... sex.” As Bostock explains, this means that if an employer “intentionally relies in part on an individual employee’s sex when deciding to discharge the employee” or “if changing the employee’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the employer,” then Title VII has been violated. Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court’s latest adventure in legislating, has already seen enough compelling analysis to raise some troubling questions. Having laid out this rule, Gorsuch then explains why discrimination against LGBTQ employees constitutes “sex discrimination” by laying out two examples: Consider, for example, an employer with two employees, both of whom are attracted to men. 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