US Supreme Court Rejects Lambda Legal’s Appeal In Title VII Anti-LGBT Employment Discrimination Case

Via press release from Lambda Legal:

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not review the Lambda Legal case on behalf of Jameka Evans, a Savannah security guard who was harassed at work and forced from her job because she is a lesbian.

“By declining to hear this case, the Supreme Court is delaying the inevitable and leaving a split in the circuits that will cause confusion across the country,” said Greg Nevins, Employment Fairness Project Director for Lambda Legal. “But this was not a “no” but a “not yet,” and rest assured that Lambda Legal will continue the fight, circuit by circuit as necessary, to establish that the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. The vast majority of Americans believe that LGBT people should be treated equally in the workplace. The public is on the right side of history; it’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court has refused to join us today, but we will continue to invite them to do the right thing and end this hurtful balkanization of the right of LGBT people to be out at work.”

“This term will not see the Supreme Court provide a national remedy to stop the pervasive discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace. But don’t despair; if you have experienced discrimination in the workplace, please contact Lambda Legal’s Help Desk,” said Nevins. “We urge Congress to pass a federal law explicitly banning discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Several federal courts have affirmed the argument that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, when properly understood, protects LGBT employees. Most notably, the full Seventh Circuit overruled four of its precedents and ruled in April that Lambda Legal client Kimberly Hively could proceed under the Civil Rights Act with her claim that Indiana-based Ivy Tech Community College discriminated against her because she is a lesbian. In September, Lambda Legal argued before the full Second Circuit, which is reexamining two of its precedents in Zarda v. Altitude Express, the case of a New York skydiving instructor who was fired from his job because he was gay. No ruling has been issued yet in Zarda.

  • Boreal
    • Steverino

      But her emails morphed into but her uranium which has now morphed into but her collusion…

      • Chucktech

        …which are even less based in fact than “but her e-mails” is. That’s how pathetically desperate deplorables are.

        • Steve Teeter

          Every time Trump says something about “crooked Hillary,” which he does at least once a week, I wish she would come out and say, “Look. *I’m* the one who’s not supposed to be able to get past the election.”

        • Steverino

          Every investigation and interrogation of her by them came up empty-handed. So…
          1.) Hillary is not guilty of doing anything illegal, or
          2.) The Congressional Republicans who investigated her are totally incompetent, or
          3.) As Kevin McCarthy blurted out to a Fox reporter (no doubt after a two- or three-martini lunch), all these investigations were political theater to damage her presidential aspirations.

          So yes, the members of the Freedumb Caucus still have to play the Hillary Card as if she’s still running for president, because they have otherwise run out of cards and bullets.

          • Jonathan Smith

            there is no “or” there.
            all three are true.

          • jerry

            I’ve concluded that Hillary must be the smartest criminal mastermind in the last century. /s

        • Strepsi

          I’ve taken a dip into even moderate right-wing sites and it’s 1) Uranium for Hillary and 2) Mueller is a partisan corrupt Democrat paid by the Clinton foundation so HAS to go (I mean like 80% of the commenters believe it based on….. nothing real), conservative propaganda is amazingly successful.

          • Chucktech

            No the audience for conservative propaganda is astonishingly deplorable and stoopid, not to mention immune from demonstrable facts, like Mueller is a Republican.

          • Strepsi

            Yep! I saw the odd plaintive comment factually stating how he IS a Republican and was appointed by a Republican and was put on this case by a Republican, but they don’t care.

            These people seriously believe Hillary is a murderess who runs a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor, there is no bottom to their barrel.

          • Chucktech

            And that, my dear Strepsi, is why arguing or trying to reason with them is a foo’s errand. They are 100% irredeemable.

          • There was a guy on CNN last week (I saw a clip so no idea what day or time) talking about how the tax cut wasn’t going to create jobs (duh). It was someone who had been an economic adviser to Reagan so not a liberal in the least. But then he went off on how the Russia investigations were just “deep state” operatives out to get Trump. Oy. The right wing well has been poisoned. Anyone thinking we’re going to win them over is delusional. The sane ones have already left and the rest are in for good.

      • Jonathan Smith

        swing around back to Behengazi then her emails…….
        wash, rise, repeat

        • McSwagg

          Don’t forget the spin cycle.

  • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

    Should we be glad that they declined, considering the current make-up of the court?

    • Xuuths

      Do you see that improving in the near future?

      • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

        No, but if the cake baker case doesn’t go our way, I’d prefer not to have TWO rulings that are both anti LGBT.

    • Chucktech

      The “current” make up hasn’t changed. Scalia croaked, we Scalia redux.

  • Tawreos

    If it is not illegal how can it not be protected?

    • Gustav2

      Unless your group is specifically listed in the Civil Rights laws, you don’t matter.

      • JAKvirginia

        And therein lies the flaw of the Civil Rights Act — a well-meaning but horribly crafted law.

        • Gustav2

          but…but…but being Gay wasn’t even a “thing” in 1964!*

          *I have had similar things said to me by “well meaning” people like we didn’t exist before Ellen DeGeneres.

        • BobSF_94117

          What would you have it say?

          • JAKvirginia

            It makes a list. The flaws in list-making is someone or something will be left out. Now what? Also, what happens when two items on the list are in conflict ideologically? This really just opens a huge judicial can of worms. It needs to be recrafted without a list, creating a standard by which no one in this country can be discriminated against.

          • BobSF_94117

            It makes a list because we have and will always have a list of protected categories of people.

            No one can be discriminated against is silly. There are plenty of categories of people who SHOULD be discriminated against. Most of them criminal.

          • Reality.Bites

            15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

            (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

            That “in particular” was inserted into the Charter of Rights at the request of Svend Robinson, Canada’s first openly gay MP.

            He knew that, back in the early 1980s when the Charter was being draughted that there was no way to muster the votes for including sexual orientation. So a compromise was reached in which the list of enumerated rights was not exclusive, but open ended.

            By unanimous Supreme Court ruling, section 15 (and therefore all Canadian laws) must be read as including sexual orientation in that list.

        • Steverino

          Indeed. Enumerating a laundry list of types of people it is illegal to discriminate against implies that discrimination against anybody not on the list is okay.

          Anti-discrimination law should have been crafted to include everybody, with the only basis for discrimination being an individual’s lack of qualification for a job, home loan, lack of sufficient income, or any other disqualifying factor totally unrelated to however that person could otherwise be classified, be it sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, or whatever. Thus any kind of discrimination or harassment based on those categories would be illegal, and would apply to everybody.

          • JAKvirginia

            Thank you for saying so well what I could not. In a brain drain, today.

      • Strepsi

        THIS is the reason of the dozens of anti-gay suits and bills, to ensure we never become a “protected class” federally, and kill the local ordinances that *do* consider us one. It’s States’ Rights on steroids.

  • bkmn

    The problem lies in the fact that Trump is stacking the federal courts with rightward judges who could turn the tide.

    Every election matters folks.

    • FAEN

      But her emails! 🙄

      • Catherine

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    • Irish856

      Trump is not the issue this time. It would only take the 4 so called liberals to vote to hear the case. It appears that this is not the right case

      • Diogenes Onionpants

        Fortunately the liberal minority have better sense than to demand to hear a case that they would lose, thanks to McConnell’s having unscrupulously refused to do his job and allow Obama’s nominee to be put forth for consideration.

        • James M. Kirwan

          Your name though. lol thanks for that.

    • JCF
  • bkmn
    • Gustav2

      I wonder if Santa might bring us a Recount for Christmas.

      • Bj Lincoln

        You need to wake up honey. You are mumbling something about a recount.

        • Gustav2

          I expect it to be a mess tomorrow.

          • Bj Lincoln

            I too wish we could just rewind and start the election over without Drumpf.

          • I wish we could have started life over without him. Honestly, couldn’t his daddy Fred been wearing a contraceptive the day he was conceived? Talk about a lost opportunity!

          • UrsusArctos 🐻

            If only his dad had used a scumbag, instead of being one then fathering one.

          • Stephen Elliot Phillips

            I wouldnt be surprised if the deplorables act assholey at the polling places

      • A recount in Alabama sounds like it would be so fair and unbiased. I put in “Alabama Politics” in Google Images and came up with this photo. Just look at all of these crackers. Wouldn’t you just luv them as your next door neighbors? I have the schmuck in the purple tie as a neighbor up the road right now in Mar-a-trasho btw. and am not happy about it!

      • UrsusArctos 🐻

        You. Do. Not. Want. That.
        The AL GOP has a long history of stealing elections by “recounts” that mysteriously always fall their way, just outside of the range to be challenged.

        • Gustav2

          That’s why I expect White Santa to bring us one.

    • Oscarlating Wildely

      If Jones wins, The Orange will implode. OJ with pulp all over the Potomac. Imagine how excited the fish will be! Think of the fish!

      • Tawreos

        I don not want to see the bill to get that mess out of the White House or off of our monuments.

      • JAKvirginia

        If he implodes… we’re cool. A paper towel should mop it up. Explode? DC becomes a SuperFund site!

      • JackFknTwist

        Oh please, don’t get my hope up !
        I will be a quivering mess tomorrow.

      • UrsusArctos 🐻

        A simple aneurism would be OK too.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Hasn’t the Preznit’s ‘seal of approval’ regularly translated into the ‘kiss of death,’ electorally speaking?

        I seem to remember reading about a phenomenon like this here, but maybe it’s just excess acetylcholinesterase, or an undigested bit of Pad See Ew, or a blot of peanut sauce (with apologies to Dickens).

    • another_steve

      Some political commentators have been saying for weeks now that Moore’s lead is being undercounted / underestimated. His base is motivated, Jones’ base – not so much.

      Also, some Republican Alabamians might be feeling Jesus tugging on their sleeves and begging that they not vote for a child molester – so they may feel hesitant to tell a pollster that they do intend, in fact, to vote for Moore.

      • Tawreos

        I can understand not wanting to tell someone who they are voting for, but if the guilt is because they are going to vote for a child molester then they have no business voting.

        • Jonathan Smith

          but, at least he is not a Democrat!

          • Chucktech

            Democrat. Worse than a kiddie fucker. That’s Alabama for you.

          • Jonathan Smith

            Democrat. Worse than a kiddie fucker. That’s Republican for you.
            there, fixed it for you

    • Mb

      This is from Fox News. This is just a scare tactic to make sure that the Repubs and Conserva-nazis show up in full force.

      • Reality.Bites

        Fox News Polls have a decent reputation for accuracy, as it happens. Both pollsters here have a “B” rating from 538.

        On the whole I’d be skeptical of Alabama polling simply because I suspect not much effort has gone into it in the past. Getting a proper polling sample isn’t easy.

        From the link,

        A subtle but potentially noteworthy finding is Alabama voters who were interviewed on cellphones are +30 for Jones, while the race is roughly even among all others. The fact that traditional, high-quality probability samples, like the Fox News Poll, include both landline and cellphone numbers may be why these polls show Jones doing relatively well compared to automated or blended polls.

        TBH, I don’t see a bad outcome for us from this race or a good one for the Republicans. Only different shades of bad for them.

    • Dana Chilton

      No! Think about that story, if FOX tells people Jones is 10 points ahead it creates the Hillary effect.. dems stay home and Moore supporters flock to the polls

      • bkmn

        I think those two polls show that the race is indeed tight and if someone wants their candidate to win they need to get out and vote.

    • JackFknTwist

      I will be glued to the TV…………USA politics is so much more bear-baiting than Brexit shenanagins !

      • Chucktech

        You guys are too polite…

        • British elections polite? LOL. No, British elections are not polite. That is like saying that British soccer fans are gentlemanly compared to their American compatriots who follow baseball and football. I like your humour 🙂

    • We could be surprised. 538 (Nate Silver’s web site), which I still think is one of the best number crunching web sites around (they gave Trump a 30% chance before election day last year to widespread derision- just about everyone else was calling for a Clinton blowout ) says the following – “Alabama polls have been volatile, this is an off-cycle special election with difficult-to-predict turnout, and there haven’t been many top-quality pollsters surveying the Alabama race. So even though Moore is a favorite, Democrat Doug Jones is just a normal polling error away from winning. Or, by the same token, Moore could win comfortably”. Read more here –

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Hey, that’s what I said here yesterday, about “margin of error” and so forth! Great minds, & cetera.

    • jerry

      The polls have been all over the place. I’m hoping Jones’ superior ground game will turn it in his favor.

      • bkmn

        Me too. He seems very intent to make very good use of all the donations he has received.

    • gaycuckhubby

      Crazy outliers… but don’t discount Fox News polls. They’re actually very good

    • JCF

      Ergo, polls here are meaningless.

    • The_Wretched

      Fox is trying to goose the republican turn out.

  • Jmdintpa

    Does anyone still think that we’re going to get our republic back through the Supreme Court impeachment,elections. It’s not going to happen like that. It will be a violent day of reckoning in this country. History has shown over and over and over what happens to a country when ppl like trump take over. History also shows what must be done to ri ourselves of these nationalist

    • JackFknTwist

      So true.
      Tyranny must be resisted and ultimately overthrown.
      If the Turd is impeached there will be blood.

  • Ninja0980

    Both parties are the same though right?

  • greenmanTN

    Could it be that they rejected the case because the details don’t speak to the specific issues that need to be addressed?

    • Ninja0980

      Mark Stern of Slate has said as much.

  • Bob Black

    The court is signalling how they plan to rule on the bakery case. Stop blaming Trump and start letting your neighbors and relatives who were Trump voters know how you feel.

    • Jonathan Smith

      i would, but then i would be in jail for manslaughter……

    • Ninja0980

      Bernie or bust folks as well.

      • Jonathan Smith


      • Jerry Kott

        They are now eating their PONIES.

      • Will Kohler

        And the DNC for not running a strong campaign for Hillary. There is blame enough to go around.

  • shellback

    It seems to be earlier every day – the point in time when I am maxed out on the news and just turn off the internet.

  • Jonathan Smith
  • Leo

    OT. NPR On Point’s Tom Ashbrook on leave for alleged sexual assault of Boston University student, groping female producers and intimidating interns.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    My heart says I don’t like this, but my head says that trying to hang all of workplace non-discrimination on Title VII was a really bad idea to begin with. We need something more explicit, like what CA, OR, WA, NY, MA, VT, etc. have in their state laws.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    While Gorsuch is merely Scalia kinda lite, he’s clearly having an impact on the court. Kennedy is wavering on LGBT issues and this ruling does not bode well for future issues regarding LGBT citizens, especially if Dotard gets another nominee in there.

    Sigh, if only there had been another choice, if only someone had warned people, if only…oh wait…never mind.

    • NotAnApologist

      I’m still glad Scalia is dead.

      • Strepsi

        Lol. Dead and either 1) found his Catholic Heaven does not exist so he’s just gone, or 2) It does exist…. but he sure didn’t go there!
        Either way, satisfying.

      • William

        Did that hotel pillow ever get a parade?

        • Strepsi


    • The_Wretched

      Gorsuch is much much worse than Scalia. Even late stage pure troll Scalia.

  • jm2

    Title VII is going to continue to be a big problem until it is straightened out that it applies to the ENTIRE country and not just those areas that are more liberal and accepting!

  • JT

    Gosucks was there instead of an Obama nominee. Hmm.

  • BeaverTales

    Discrimination only counts when it is against Christians and Republicans…If it doesn’t already say that in the Constitution, it soon will.

  • geoffalnutt

    New slogan: “Alabama! Bring The Kids!”

  • JWC

    the fight will never be over

  • Phillip in L.A.

    Well, actually, it sounds like maybe this is a win, Lambda Legal! If the Supremes HAD granted certiorari, how long do you think the Seventh Circuit’s en banc decision would remain intact?

    —– * * * * * —–

    (Overheard this morning in the Supreme Court Clerks’ Cloak Room):

    (Roberts’ Jr.’s Clerk): I see we got another cert petition in one of those Title VII sexual orientation cases today.
    (Alito’s Clerk): Yeah, I saw that. Lambda Legal from the Seventh Circuit en banc, right?
    (Roberts’ Jr.’s Clerk): (Nods.)
    (Thomas’s Clerk): Was that the one with the wedding-cake?
    (Sotomayor’s Clerk): (Shaking head sadly, and muttering under breath.) This is why we can’t have nice things any more.
    (Gorsuch’s Clerk): You said it, sweet-cheeks.
    (Ginsburg’s Clerk): Hey, that’s sexual harassment! Stop it.
    (Gorsuch’s Clerk): So sue me. If it’s good enough for our Prez’nit, it’s good enough for you.
    (Kagan’s Clerk): OK, you imbeciles, break it up! We gotta get to work. Those opinions aren’t going to write themselves!
    (Kennedy’s Clerk): That’s for sure. Hey! Where’s Breyer’s new clerk? I heard she wears really short skirts with no underwear, AND she went to Yale Law.
    (Kagan’s Clerk): (Sadly shakes head and walks out with Sotomayor’s Clerk and Ginsburg’s Clerk.)


  • ‘Til Tuesday

    As some of us have warned, the ruling on marriage equality was not the “be all end all” and that there would be a backlash to it. How many more legal setbacks do we need before we wake up and realize the fight for rights is far from over and always under threat of being reversed?

    As I’ve mentioned several times, the anti-gay movement is adopting the anti-choice movement’s tactics of slowly but surely stripping gay people of their rights. Their ultimate goal is to make marriage a hollow victory for gay people. See Texas where denying medical and other benefits (that straight couples get) to married gay couples is legal.

    You know how abortion remains technically legal but almost impossible to get in many states? They’ve got the same plans for gay people. In fact, many of the people in the anti-choice movement are the same people in the anti-gay movement. They have a decades-long plan to make gay people’s lives as difficult as they’ve made a woman’s right to choose.

    We rightfully celebrated winning marriage equality, but we should have realized it was the prelude to a fight. The anti-gay movement will never give up just like the anti-choice movement hasn’t given up. If they’re stopped in one area, they’ll attack it from another area. The fight over gay rights isn’t just national – it’s now state by state because that’s how the anti-gay movement is gonna fight us. Yeah, it’s no fun knowing your rights are never fully secure and that you’ll always have to fight to protect them, but it is what it is and you do what you have to do.