bostock v clayton county majority opinion

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. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion is clear, straightforward, and correct. In a concurring opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), Gorsuch suggested that religious conservatives should enjoy sweeping exemptions from laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court’s latest adventure in legislating, has already seen enough compelling analysis to raise some troubling questions. Here, the Court reiterates that Title VII is concerned with the treatment of individuals, not groups, as evidenced by Los Angeles Dept. Policy Staff. Today's News & Commentary — December 17, 2020, Amy Coney Barrett and the Overconfidence and False Modesty of Textualism, Amy Coney Barrett is as Anti-Worker as the Rest of Trump’s Judges, Today’s News & Commentary — September 24, 2020, Criminal Records Exclusion, “Rational Discrimination,” and Ban the Box, Commentary Round-up: Bostock v. Clayton County. Gorsuch didn’t simply honor his textualist approach in Bostock; he wrote the majority opinion. Today, the Supreme Court held that Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. All rights reserved. Roberts joined Gorsuch’s opinion in full and did not write a separate opinion. /. Notably, the Court does not rest its reasoning on the sex-stereotyping theories also advanced by the employees. Liability under Title VII, the Court instructs, is not governed by “conversational conventions.” Conversational speakers do not naturally list every but-for cause of an employment event, but such causes are still relevant to finding a Title VII violation. Excellent Critiques of Bostock Ruling By ED WHELAN June 25, 2020 9:51 AM I’ve run across several excellent critiques of Justice Gorsuch’s majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County (on top, of course, of the compelling dissents by Justices Alito and Kavanaugh). First, it assumes the employers’ definition of “sex”: “status as either male or female [as] determined by reproductive biology.” Second, it defines “because of” sex as simple “but-for” causation: an action is illegal if it would not have occurred but for sex, even if other causes were at play. Here’s a quick overview. Clayton County, Geor- If you picked A, you agree with Justice Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County. The decision is an historic victory for LGBTQ advocates, arriving more than 45 years after the introduction of the first bill in Congress aimed at protecting LGBTQ workers. We want to add 2,020 more founding contributors to our supporter base by the end of the year. Last week, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision for LGBTQ rights. Leigh Thomas is a student at Harvard Law School. It is also no defense that an employer would fire both male and female employees who are LGBTQ. 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. Alito concludes with a parade of horribles he claims will result from the decision, listing consequences for sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms; women’s sports; employment by religious organizations; housing; healthcare benefits; freedom of speech; and constitutional claims. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. The text of the law is the only thing that matters in Bostock. Justice Neil Gorsuch authored the opinion for the 6-3 majority of the Court. But the Eleventh Circuit held in Bostock v. Clayton County Board of Commissioners, 723 F. App’x 964 (11th Cir. Gorsuch compares the idea to putting a checkbox on an application asking if an applicant is either black or Catholic. Today, the Supreme Court ruled in three consolidated cases styled Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the justices considered whether or not the term “sex” will extend to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”. The growing circuit split … But the sheer force of the plaintiffs’ textual arguments in Bostock appears to have weighed heavily on both men. Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion with Kavanaugh writing a dissent and Alito and Thomas writing another dissent. BOSTOCK v. CLAYTON COUNTY, GEORGIA CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT No. Justice Kavanaugh’s dissent showed that the majority did not interpret Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Discrimination “because of ... sex” occurs whenever an employer treats male employees differently than female employees, or vice-versa. After establishing the basic formulation, the Court explains how an employer cannot escape liability by claiming that “other factors” besides sex, such as sexual orientation or gender identity, contributed to the employer’s decision. But the 6-3 majority opinion in Bostock was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts. One case can have multiple dissents because they are used to fight a flaw in the logic or reading of the Constitution by the majority opinion. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids. Even if an applicant would need to consider their sex before checking the box, the employer need not. By interpreting Title VII to cover LGBTQ workers, a comprehension unimaginable in 1964, the Court has usurped the role of Congress. In a separate dissent, Justice Kavanaugh takes issue with the majority’s conclusion with respect to sexual orientation because it does not comport with the “ordinary meaning” of sex discrimination. ... Waiver of right of respondent Clayton County, Georgia to respond filed. He passed. In Bostock v. Clayton County, the Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the firing of Gerald Bostock, who had expressed interest in establishing a gay softball league at work, discriminated against LGBTQ+ employees and was a direct violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Finally, it interprets discrimination to mean differential treatment of an individual employee, rather than a class. 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. Next, the Court concludes that “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” It uses two examples drawn from the employees’ arguments. Reversed and remanded, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Gorsuch on June 15, 2020. Alito rejects the majority’s claim to textualism, characterizing the opinion as a “pirate ship”: “[i]t sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation that Justice Scalia excoriated–the theory that courts should ‘update’ old statutes so that they better reflect the current values of society.” To demonstrate the opinion’s textualist flaws, Alito interrogates the majority’s checkbox hypothetical. Even though an employer might not learn the race or religion of the applicant, failure to hire an applicant who checked the box would still “turn on” race or religion. As Gorsuch concludes his opinion, “ours is a society of written laws,” and that means that “judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations.” Because Congress “adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee,” the Court must hold that anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace is illegal. In this Law and Liberty essay, law professor John McGinnis, who is very high on, if… It also comes as the Trump administration has mounted new attacks on LGBTQ rights. A non-exhaustive list: 1. If you picked C, then you agree with Five Minute Law. That’s because the Court is also considering whether to grant employers with religious objections to LGBTQ people an exemption from anti-discrimination laws. A male and female employee who are both attracted to men may be different because of their sex, but they are also different because of their sexual orientation. We in­ter­pret our sub­ject broadly to in­clude the cur­rent cri­sis in the tra­di­tional union move­ment (why union de­cline is hap­pen­ing and what it means for our so­ci­ety); the new and con­tested forms of worker or­ga­ni­za­tion that are fill­ing the la­bor union gap; how work ought to be struc­tured and man­aged; how work­ers ought to be rep­re­sented and com­pen­sated; and the ap­pro­pri­ate role of gov­ern­ment – all three branches – in each of these is­sues. Only the text of Title VII matters. 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. And Bostock forced Gorsuch to decide between his own conservative politics and following the broad language of a landmark civil rights law. June 16, 2020 at 5:42 p.m. UTC On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a landmark rulingfor LGBTQ rights. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids," wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative appointed by President Donald Trump, in the majority opinion. Argued October 8, 2019—Decided June 15, 2020* In each of these cases, an employer allegedly fired a long-time employee simply for being homosexual or transgender. Whether and how the First Amendment or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act may interact with Title VII is for a future case to decide. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. 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. The decision is an historic victory for LGBTQ advocates, arriving more than 45 years after the introduction … Likewise, employers are not saved if their “intention” is to discriminate based on other factors besides sex. Thus, Bostock turns on a simple application of Title VII’s text. Support from our readers helps us rely less on advertising, and keep our resource-intensive work free for everyone who needs it. Clayton County Supreme Court opinion and dissents. But it is unclear whether Bostock will entirely ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. As established in Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp., sex need not be the sole cause of a discriminatory action to violate Title VII. Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia ... first widely publicized sex reassignment surgeries in the United States were not performed until 1966, 33 and the great majority of physicians surveyed in 1969 thought that an individual who sought sex reassignment surgery was either ... the Court relies on Justice Scalia’s opinion for the Court in Oncale v. … Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion in Bostock v.Clayton County, a Supreme Court decision extending employment protections to gay and transgender people, kicks off a … Both Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, and Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush, joined the majority. The Court’s decision was fairly surprising, as the Justices divided 6-3 in favor of the employees, with conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch authoring the opinion. by Leigh Thomas and Jared Odessky | Jun 15, 2020 | Featured Posts, Supreme Court, Workplace Discrimination, Today, the Supreme Court held that Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Remarkably, Bostock is a 6-3 opinion. The Supreme Court’s landmark LGBTQ rights decision, explained in 5 simple sentences. In a 6-3 ruling, the court expanded the definition of “sex” to include both under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of … The high court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, could have implications far beyond employment discrimination. 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. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. The two individuals are, to the employer’s mind, materially identical in all respects, except that one is a man and the other a woman. “In common parlance,” he writes, “Bostock and Zarda were fired because they were gay, not because they were men.” He “acknowledge[s] the important victory achieved today by gay and lesbian Americans,” but laments that it was achieved by “judicial dictate” rather than “through the democratic process.”, Leigh Thomas is a student at Harvard Law School.More by this Author », Tags: alito, Bostock v. 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