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Scary times as Trump Supreme Court tackles abortion restrictions and anti-LGBTQ job discrimination

October 4th, 2019 | Laura Clawson

Almost exactly a year after Brett Kavanaugh’s lies succeeded at getting him onto the Supreme Court, his first chance to limit abortion rights is in his grasp. The court announced Friday it would take a case on Louisiana’s abortion restrictions, restrictions that are very similar to Texas provisions the court struck down in 2016. That’s not the only bombshell the Trump court could be dropping soon—next week the court will hear a set of cases on employment discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Louisiana, as Texas previously did, wants to require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital—a significant burden to providers since some hospitals will not give them admitting privileges at all, while also being of basically no benefit to patients since hospital admission after abortion is vanishingly rare and can be accomplished without the provider having admitting privileges. The most conservative appeals court in the U.S. upheld that law, but the Supreme Court put it on hold while considering whether to hear the case. Which it will now do, with a decision expected in 2020.

Even before that case comes up, though, the court will hear a set of cases involving people who were fired for being gay or transgender. Those cases involve Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits job discrimination “because of sex.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided in 2015 that it would be discrimination because of sex to treat a woman in a relationship with a woman differently than a woman in a relationship with a man, and judges in two of the cases before the court next week have found similarly, with one writing “sexual orientation discrimination is motivated, at least in part, by sex and is thus a subset of sex discrimination” and another that it’s “analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee’s status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee’s sex.” But we are talking about the Trump Supreme Court here, so … it’s hard to be optimistic about anything, ever.

This article was originally published at Daily Kos on October 4, 2019. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson is a Daily Kos contributor at Daily Kos editor since December 2006. Full-time staff since 2011, currently assistant managing editor.

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