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Supreme Court Delays Considering LGBT Workers’ Civil Rights

Nov. 26, 2018, 11:12 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court delayed its timeline for considering whether to grant review in a trio of cases that could decide whether employers can discriminate against LGBT workers without violating federal civil rights law.

The court had been scheduled to consider the cases during a Nov. 30 conference, but it rescheduled them Nov. 26 without comment. Any single justice can ask for a case to be rescheduled for any reason.

The court’s next scheduled conference is Dec. 7, and it has no more conferences scheduled for December. The first conference of the new year is scheduled for Jan. 4.

The question before the court in the cases is whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans sex discrimination in the workplace, prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Two cases address sexual orientation and the third addresses gender identity.

The sexual orientation cases previously were scheduled for consideration during a Sept. 24 conference. The gender identity case hadn’t been previously scheduled.

If the court wants to hold oral argument before the term ends in June, it has to grant review by mid-January so it has enough time to complete briefing. It could grant review after January and schedule argument for the fall.

The cases are R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC, U.S., No. 18-107, rescheduled 11/26/18; Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, U.S., No. 17-1623, rescheduled 11/26/18; Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, U.S., No. 17-1618, rescheduled 11/26/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at

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