Monday, June 15, 2020
In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Gorsuch, SCOTUS, the Supreme Court affirmed decisions of the 2nd and 6th Circuit allowing Title VII claims brought by people alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity to proceed.. Justice Gorsuch's commitment to textualism clearly informed his opinion:
Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees. But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands. When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it’s no contest. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit.
The opinion is 33 pages long. The dissents, with appendices, take up an additional 135 pages. There is much to digest, but this is a very important decision affecting employment contracts and conditions of employment nationwide.