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Supreme Court won't intervene over West Virginia justices

Supreme Court won't intervene over West Virginia justices”

The U.S. Supreme Court kicked off its new nine-month term with a flurry of activity on Monday, hearing arguments in three cases and rejecting numerous appeals that piled up over the summer.

House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw had said previously that the hope in asking the Supreme Court to take the case was not to seek permission to restart impeachment proceedings but to correct legal errors in the decision.

A ruling for employees who were fired due to their sexual orientation or gender identity would have a big impact for the estimated 8.1 million LGBT workers across the country because most states don't protect them from workplace discrimination. Its dynamics on LGBT issues, however, changed following the 2018 retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who backed gay rights in major cases and wrote the same-sex marriage ruling. The justices will vote on whether or not the EEOC can enforce Title VII on a national level, or whether it can be left up to the individual state governments.

The court's 5-4 conservative majority includes two justices appointed by President Donald Trump, whose administration has argued that Title VII does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission now enforces the Title VII law, which it says prevents discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in the workplace.

Though Pennsylvania is not one of them, more than 20 states have specific laws that protect LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace.

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The justices in a brief order said they would consider that argument when they hear the case on December 2, leaving open the possibility they will toss the case later. One involves a former county child welfare services coordinator from Georgia named Gerald Bostock.

The other case involves fired transgender funeral home director Aimee Stephens.

The court will issue rulings in all its cases by the end of June.

Trump, a Republican with vigorous support among evangelical Christian voters, has pursued policies taking aim at gay and transgender rights. Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan will be arguing for the gay employees.

"Equal justice under law" is the phrase chiseled into the stone above the entrance to the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.



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