Rulings on Blockbuster Issues Expected Soon
June 12, 2020
Decisions on polarizing issues before the Supreme Court will come in quick succession in the next few weeks. One will decide whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace. Title VII prohibits employer discrimination based on “sex.” The Trump administration argues that sexual orientation or gender identity wasn’t what Congress had in mind when it passed the Act. If the Supreme Court agrees, LGBT employees will be left without legal protection. During oral arguments Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch called it a “close question,” but worried aloud that a favorable ruling for gay and transgender employees would cause a “massive social upheaval.” Other hot-button issues include disputes over abortion, Electoral College procedures, the deportation status of nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants and President Trump’s tax returns. The Justices seemed to split on ideological lines during arguments about Congress and New York state prosecutors efforts to obtain Trump’s financial records and tax returns. In the first major abortion case of the Trump-era court the justices will revisit protections emerging from Roe v. Wade. The Court must decide whether a state law, which requires that doctors who perform abortions be able to admit patients at a local hospital, places an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s right to abortion. The Court struck down a similar law in 2016, with Justice Kennedy providing the swing vote in a 5-3 decision. Kennedy’s retirement and the addition of Trump appointees Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh may add up to a reversal of that precedent.
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