President Donald Trump gave a relatively non-committal response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday that expanded the definition of protected classes in employment discrimination to include homosexuals and transgender people, saying “they’ve ruled and we live with their decision."
The court’s opinion of the 6-3 ruling was authored by Neil Gorsuch, one of Trump’s two appointees to the Supreme Court.
“They’ve ruled,” Trump said when asked his opinion of the decision at a White House event. “I read the decision, and some people were surprised. But they’ve ruled and we live with their decision. That’s what it’s all about. We live with the decision of the Supreme Court. Very powerful — very powerful decision, actually. But they have so ruled.”
Gorsuch wrote that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits being discriminated against because of one’s sex, and similar actions taken against those for being homosexual or transgender is no different.
“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex," Gorsuch wrote. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."
In a sharp dissent, Justice Samuel Alito chastised the four widely considered liberal members of the court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts and Gorsuch.
“The Court tries to convince readers that it is merely enforcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous," Alito wrote in the dissent. “Even as understood today, the concept of discrimination because of ‘sex’ is different from discrimination because of ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity.'"
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