Supreme Court Rewrites Civil Rights Act
June 15, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling today that makes the nation's high court look more like a uber-legislative body than a judicial one. The Court declared that the federal prohibition of employment discrimination based on sex in the 1964 Civil Rights Act also prohibits discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity." In redefining the term that describes biological sex, the Supreme Court took the question of protected categories out of the hands of the American people and once again created judicial legislation.
Justice Alito's dissent noted that legislation has been introduced for the past 45 years to incorporate sexual orientation into Title VII and in the past few years there has been an attempt to include gender identity. None have passed the required process to be incorporated into law, the process that speaks on behalf of the American people. Instead, today six unelected judges decided to usurp the legislative process and insert "protections" that the American people time after time have failed to institute. There was not enough political will to incorporate these terms– just judicial will of the six justices.
Judges should not be allowed to rewrite the Civil Rights Act to add gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes. It is clear that the Civil Rights Act included the term "sex" to protect women from being discriminated against in the workplace. It fought the idea that women were less equal to perform a job than men. Nowhere did Congress intend to include sexual orientation or gender identity when protecting women against discrimination. This opinion demeans workplace advancement of women and makes a mockery of our representative form of government. We've already witnessed in recent years how courts have used the redefinition of words as a battering ram to crush faith-based businesses and organizations. This opinion is no different, and it poses a dangerous threat to religious liberty.
The court's insistence that a Christian funeral home must retain a man who was hired to assist and comfort grieving families even though he decided after six years to show up in women's clothing, threatens its freedom to operate according to its understanding of sexuality that is rooted in the facts of science and human history. The Harris Funeral Homes, a family operated business for more than a hundred years, was challenged by a male employee who said that he would no longer follow the company dress code of wearing sex-specific clothes for work.
It's time that unelected judges end the practice of usurping the will of the American people, especially with such strong implications for religious liberty. If the American people wanted to add terms to any law there is a remedy, and it is not the opinion of the justices.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.