Reuters says the Supreme Court justices “appear divided” as they hear arguments about whether Title VII protects gay and transgender employees from sex discrimination:
Kavanaugh said little to indicate how he might vote. Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who missed the opening day of the court’s term on Monday with an illness, was at the arguments but asked no questions, as is his custom.
The four liberal justices on the nine-member court signaled sympathy toward arguments that LGBT workers are covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex as well as race, color, national origin and religion.
Some of the five conservative justices expressed reservations toward extending protection to gay employees. However, one of them, Justice Neil Gorsuch, asked questions of both sides indicating potential sympathy for the workers. When analyzing whether a person was fired on the basis of sexual orientation, Gorsuch said sex seemed to be a “contributing cause.”
But Gorsuch later in the arguments voiced concern that the court would be overstepping its role if it ruled in favor of gay and transgender workers instead of letting Congress legislate on the subject. Gorsuch warned of “massive social upheaval” that could result from such a ruling.
“It’s a question of judicial modesty,” Gorsuch said.
Weird how “judicial modesty” doesn’t forbid “conservative” judges from asserting control over women’s uteri, barging into LGBTQ folks’ bedrooms or rifling through their underwear drawers. There’s not a molecule of modesty in the whole bunch.