Oct 24, 2018

Justice Department tells Supreme Court transgender bias is not sex discrimination

Photo: Ken Cedeno/Corbis via Getty Images

The Department of Justice told the Supreme Court in a brief Wednesday that federal law does not shield transgender workers from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity — a position that conflicts the view of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.

The big picture: The Justice Department under President Trump has previously argued against protections for gender identity and sexual orientation. The brief follows a New York Times report this week that said the Trump administration plans to define "gender" as biological and fixed at birth.

The details: A conservative group is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that said a Michigan funeral home violated a federal anti-discrimination law when it fired a transgender worker over compliance with its dress code.

  • Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the court it should not take up the case until it decides whether to review two cases that ask whether sexual-orientation bias is a form of sex discrimination.
  • Francisco argued that if the court takes up the case, the transgender employee should lose, because anti-discrimination law does not cover gender identity.

The backdrop: There has been conservative legal efforts to cement “religious liberty” laws that would allow businesses and others to refuse service to LGBTQ people without violating federal law.

  • The Supreme Court is eventually expected to decide whether the Civil Rights Act’s ban on sex discrimination includes discrimination based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,309, 439 — Total deaths: 72,638 — Total recoveries: 273,546Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 347, 003 — Total deaths: 10,335 — Total recoveries: 18,953Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin governor issues executive order to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  4. Public health latest: Asymptomatic children could play important role in coronavirus spread, new data from the CDC shows.
  5. States' latest: West coast states send ventilators to New York and other states experiencing a more immediate need — Data suggests coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. Jobs latest: Unemployment could already be at 13% "and moving higher," per former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Wisconsin governor issues order to delay in-person primary voting until June

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order Monday delaying in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Why it matters: Wisconsin was slated to be the only state to vote on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite having a stay-at-home order in place.

Go deeperArrow28 mins ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll reaches 10,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,000 in the U.S. on Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday the coming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 34 mins ago - Health