Skip to comments.What the Supreme Court and a Funeral Home Can Teach Us About Civics
Posted on 10/09/2019 2:50:23 PM PDT by Kaslin
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The case arose when Harris Funeral Homes, a fifth generation family business, was sued by the EEOC because of its sex-specific dress code. The question before the Court is whether the word sex in Title VII and other civil rights laws includes transgender status.
There is much at stake. A change in the law could force organizations to open womens shelters to biological men. It could throw open the doors of locker rooms, restrooms and showers to the opposite sex. And it could erode equal opportunities for women by allowing more biological men to compete in womens sports, depriving girls like Selina Soule a fair opportunity to compete.
Suffice it to say, the issues presented in Harris Funeral Homes are serious. But the question before the Court is simple.
It is simple because we have three branches of government with three distinct roles. The legislative branch asks what the law should be, and makes the law. The executive branch asks what the law is, and enforces the law. The judicial branch asks what the law means, and applies the law. Notwithstanding the apparent confusion in our current political workings, those are the designated roles. (And kudos to Ben Sasse and others who have attempted to educate the public on this simple but profoundly wise distribution of powers.)
Understanding this separation of powers, the Supreme Courts constitutionally-designated role in this case is one of interpretation: does sex include transgender status? Its role is not to determine whether such inclusion would be preferable, advisable, or beneficial. Such philosophical questions belong to our elected representatives rather than to an unelected super legislature.
Justice Breyer acknowledged as much during oral arguments, stating that we are deciding simply whether [transgender status] falls within the words sex discrimination. Unfortunately, it may be that not every justice is prepared to accept this delineation of authority. Justice Sotomayor posed the following question to David Cole (emphasis added):
"You have a transgender person who rightly is identifying as a woman and wants to use the women's bedroom . . . . But there are other women who are made uncomfortable, and not merely uncomfortable, but who would feel intruded upon if someone who still had male characteristics walked into their bathroom. That's why we have different bathrooms. So the hard question is how do we deal with that?"
The Constitution provides the answer. Thats the job of Congress. And thus far, they have chosen not to modify Title VII and similar civil rights laws. As John Bursch, my former colleague at Alliance Defending Freedom, noted during oral arguments, though Congress has added classifications to cover transgender status in other statutes, it has rejected more than a dozen proposals here.
Despite his earlier clarity on the Courts role, Justice Breyer later expressed anxiousness about leaving such an important matter in the hands of the people and their representatives. He asked Solicitor General Noel Francisco (who argued for the government on behalf of Harris Funeral Homes) whether it might be advisable for the Court to read into the statute an interpretation that included transgender status. Appropriately, General Francisco explained that such an approach deprives the people of the ability to struggle with these issues democratically.
Justice Sotomayor pressed the issue, asking at what point does a court have to step in?
General Franciscos answer: [W]hen Congress actually addresses the issue.
Reading the title, I was SURE it was gonna be another controversy-over replacing-RBG piece.
“at what point does a court have to step in?”
Ahh, the first day of school.
A grieving family does not want a tranny in clownface whipping a dong around.
Actup should Shutup.
This case could he a legal precedent not just for “transsexual” gender identity, but for dress codes in general.
For example, many workplaces require professional dress, and ban visible tattoos, or extravagant jewelry, hoop earrings and the like.
If this decision comes out in favor of the transsexual, it could be used as precedent to overturn any workplace dress codes. If the court decides that the transsexual right to gender expression overrides everything else, then what about those who express themselves with gaudy jewelry, bare midriff clothing, booty shorts, torn blue jeans in a professional office, T shirts as outerwear, etc...
Do you get to live in accord with your religious values or not?
The ADF is helping the funeral home.
Tattoos (especially face and forearm) are just transcolored.
Its who I AM
9 gods in black dresses will decide
If a person can just determine, by themselves, that they are the opposite sex - then what is to prevent someone from self-identifying as a black person, or a disabled person or similar and gaining the priviledges accorded to them (small disadvantaged businesses, college quotas, etc.).
BTW - the “Equality Act” that passed in the House is also not just about gender - but does include race, etc. in the bill (NOTE FIRST FEW WORDS IN PARAGRAPH 2!!):
(q) Race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), handicap, familial status, or national origin, used with respect to an individual, includes
(1) the race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), handicap, familial status, or national origin, respectively, of another person with whom the individual is associated or has been associated; and
(2) a perception or belief, even if inaccurate, concerning the race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), handicap, familial status, or national origin, respectively, of the individual.;
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