Gorsuch: LGBTQ workplace discrimination case ‘really close’

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October 9, 2019 - 10:54 AM

WASHINGTON —The Supreme Court justices sounded closely split Tuesday and a bit uncertain over whether to make it illegal under federal law for companies and public agencies to fire employees solely because they are gay, lesbian or transgender, with Justice Neil M. Gorsuch likely the deciding vote.

“This case is really close,” said Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first appointment to the high court, during oral arguments over whether the 1964 federal ban on discrimination on the basis of “sex” applies to LGBTQ people. He told an ACLU lawyer arguing in favor of a transgender woman who was fired: “I’m with you on the text.”

But Gorsuch went on to say that it is a matter for Congress, not the court. “It’s a question of judicial modesty,” he said.

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