Lawyers from the Department of Justice informed the United States Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon that businesses are free to discriminate against transgender employees.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco made this argument to the nation’s highest court as it decides whether or not to take a case about trans employment rights that decides whether a civil rights law banning discrimination on the basis of sex covers transgender bias in the workplace, according to Bloomberg Law.
“The court of appeals misread the statute and this Court’s decisions in concluding that Title VII encompasses discrimination on the basis of gender identity,” Francisco said in a brief that actually contradicts the government body on the other side of the case in question.
In summer of 2013, Aimee Stephens, a trans woman, was fired after coming out to her boss at a Michigan funeral home where she worked. She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who then sued on her behalf, and the courts eventually ruled in her favor.
However, immediately afterwards, the funeral home’s lawyers accused the court of exceeding its authority by expanding the definition of ‘sex,’ and are now asking for the Supreme Court to overturn the original decision.
The Supreme Court still hasn’t decided if it will hear the Stephens case, but this announcement by the DOJ may stoke fears that the Trump administration is rolling out even more anti-transgender tactics in a increasingly divided nation.
Courts have ruled that firing someone because they are transgender IS sex discrimination — no matter what Trump and Sessions say.
Aimee was fired for being transgender. SCOTUS is being asked to overturn the ruling that gave Aimee justice, but it absolutely should not. pic.twitter.com/jrR9adfp7v
— ACLU 🗳 (@ACLU) October 24, 2018
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported on a leaked memo that details current efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services to define ‘sex’ as binary in the eyes of US law.
Protests erupted in major US cities following the leak, creating uproar over the Trump’s administration continued efforts to roll back Obama era policies that created a more inclusive environment for transgender Americans.