TEXAS -- The nation's highest court has agreed to decide if federal job protections include LGBT people.
- Supreme Court to take up federal job protections for LGBT people
- Trump administration does not believe law currently includes those protections
- Decision expected in June 2020
At issue: whether federal law that bans sex discrimination in the workplace protects gay and transgender employees from getting fired.
Justices said Monday they will hear three cases including that of a funeral director who says she was let go shortly after telling her boss she was transitioning. Lower courts have been split on the issue, while the Trump administration does not believe the law currently includes those protections.
“In some ways the question is how it took them so long,” said Lawrence Sager, a constitutional law professor at UT Austin. “Two circuits [courts] have split on these cases, actually more circuits than that are involved. A circuit split is one of the strongest cases for the court to take it up.”
The cases the court will hear are the first on the issue of LGBT rights since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a champion of gay rights on the court. Brett Kavanaugh replaced Kennedy.
“Did Kavanaugh and Kennedy talk before Kennedy agreed to step down?” Sager asked. “One hopes, I hope, that he satisfied himself that his championship wouldn’t be overturned by his replacement.”
The cases will be argued in the fall, with decisions likely by June 2020, right in the middle of the presidential election campaign.
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Sager.