On Monday, the Supreme Court made a series of huge decisions. The court upheld an interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that protects LGBT workers. Also on Monday, the court declined to hear a slew of high-profile cases. Here’s everything the court took a look at on Monday.
In a landmark case, the court defended the rights of LGBT cases in a 6-3 decision. At discussion was the wording of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII of which protects from discrimination by employers. The exact wording, which includes “discrimination based on sex,” was for debate. Lower courts had been split over whether this wording prevented employers from firing LGBT employees.
The Supreme Court was clear on the matter, however. Writing for the majority, Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that it was evident in the text of the bill that discrimination based on sex was illegal. Further, discrimination based on sexuality would, as a matter of course, be based on sex.
Despite having heard no Second Amendment cases in a decade, the Supreme Court continue to shoot down the hopes of gun rights activists. Huge pressure from lobbies like the NRA has been on lawmakers to push through laws regarding easier access to firearms. Bans on assault weapon sales, carrying guns in public and similar issues were before the Supreme Court this session.
On Monday, however, the court tossed out some ten cases. This was a blow to gun rights activists, and, frustratingly for them, included no explanation. As is customary for the court when they choose to let a lower ruling stand, they offered no reasoning for their refusal to hear the case. However, by doing so, the court leaves the impression that five out the nine justices agreed with the lower court ruling.
Likewise, the court on Monday decided to hear no cases related to sanctuary cities. The term refers to cities that refuse to work with ICE or the Trump Administration in applying immigration laws. Generally, such cities have Democratic leadership. Sanctuary cities have frequently drawn Trump’s ire, and the cases before the court were expected to go in conservatives’ favor.
Between refusing to hear gun rights and sanctuary city cases, however, the court stayed away from another topic. On Monday, they also refused to hear any cases examining the controversial qualified immunity doctrine. This doctrine protects police from lawsuits of nearly all varieties and is loathed by some on the left and the right.