Bench Memos

DOJ Changes Sides on Transgender Cases

Attorney General Eric Holder has instructed the Department of Justice to take the position from now on that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against individuals on the basis of their “sex” (among other things), thereby makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of “gender identity, including transgender status.”  The memo acknowledges that “Congress may not have had such claims in mind when it enacted Title VII” — my nomination for understatement of the year — but that the “plain text” of the statute is best interpreted that way. The Justice Department acknowledges that it is switching sides on this issue.

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