Oh My GOD. This opinion is amazing.
If you have trouble reading legal opinions, I have a new source I’m recommending – a real lawyer reading it!
So firstly, GORSUCH wrote this opinion. Trump’s first appointee is not as horrible as I had feared. I am stilled pissed Merrick Garland wasn’t voted on – but Gorsuch at least seems to be a decent Supreme Court Judge. The fact this ran 6-3, this wasn’t a “by the lines” case. Roberts and Gorsuch voted along with Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Shocker – Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh dissented.
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.Page 2 https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf
Well that was pretty blunt… but it gets better!
From the ordinary public meaning of the statute’s language at the time of the law’s adoption, a straightforward rule emerges: An employer violates Title VII when it intentionally fires an individual employee based in part on sex. It doesn’t matter if other factors besides the plaintiff ’s sex contributed to the decision. […] If the employer intentionally relies in part on an individual employee’s sex when deciding to discharge the employee—put differently, if changing the employee’s sex would have yielded a different choice by the employer—a statutory violation has occurred.Page 9
He then gives an example (and this is awesome!)
Consider, for example, an employer with two employees, both of whom are attracted to men. The two individuals are, to the employer’sPage 9-10
mind, materially identical in all respects, except that one is
a man and the other a woman. If the employer fires the male employee for no reason other than the fact he is attracted to men, the employer discriminates against him for traits or actions it tolerates in his female colleague.
The entire last like 8 pages are basically examples. Other case law from past cases which lay out the definitions of sex discrimination in Title VII.
I didn’t read the dissenting opinions. Alito’s dissent (with Thomas) is 55 pages long and then has dozens of pages of references. UGH. I didn’t even try. Kavanaugh (who I swear always writes his own opinion because he knows he doesn’t actually deserve to be on the court and basically is trying to jack his truck up to feel better about himself…) wrote a 28 page dissent which I didn’t bother to read either.
So there you go – language on this momentous decision!