If you were on the Supreme Court, how would you have ruled, and why?

Civil Liberties

Civil liberties, which is about your rights as an individual. Civil rights concerns protecting people from discrimination because of their inclusion in some sort of group or class – race, religion, etc.

Sometimes, at least today, civil rights seems like a pretty simple concept. It’s illegal (and wrong) to deny somebody a job simply because they’re black, or refuse to rent someone an apartment because they’re Jewish. Sometimes, though, it gets more complicated.

Gerald Bostock is a gay man who worked as a child welfare services coordinator for Clayton County, Georgia. The facts are a little more complex than this, but he was basically fired from his job for being gay.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination because of an “individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” The question before the court: Does “sex” in this context include sexual orientation? Or does it just mean you can’t favor a man over a woman or vice versa?

For this assignment, read a case called Bostock v. Clayton County . Note that Justice Neil Gorsuch, generally considered one of the court’s most conservative members, authored the opinion for the 6-3 majority of the Court in favor of Mr. Bostock.

Write our usual 2 – 5 page essay about it. Make sure you essay tells your reader: ● The basic facts of the case. ● What the majority decided, and why. ● Justices Alito and Thomas authored a dissenting opinion. Why did they disagree with

their colleagues? Why did Justice Kavanaugh write a separate dissenting opinion? ● If you were on the Supreme Court, how would you have ruled, and why? ● The Supreme Court, in my opinion, will soon face more complex cases involving the

application of protections on the basis of “sex” to transgender and non-binary individuals as our society grapples with a more complex understanding of gender. Do you have any guidance for the courts or Congress as these issues evolve?

Submit in Word. Cite your sources.

Additional Resources

Oyez is a great place to start: https://www.oyez.org/cases/2019/17-1618

As always, I like the Cornell Law School site (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/17-1618) to read the opinions.

Cornell also has some great background information: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/17-1618https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/title-vii-civil-rights-act-1964https://www.oyez.org/cases/2019/17-1618https://www.oyez.org/cases/2019/17-1618https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/17-1618https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/17-1618

As always, the SCOTUS blog is a great source of information: https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/bostock-v-clayton-county-georgia/

Based on this case, the Biden Administration is now looking at ways to expand Title VII: https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2022-06-23/new-title-ix-rules-would-exte nd-protections-to-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation-gender-identityhttps://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/bostock-v-clayton-county-georgia/https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2022-06-23/new-title-ix-rules-would-extend-protections-to-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation-gender-identityhttps://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2022-06-23/new-title-ix-rules-would-extend-protections-to-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation-gender-identity

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