The Supreme Court ruled Monday that employers cannot fire employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Why it matters: The 6-3 opinion marks a huge win for LGBT rights in a court with a clear conservative tilt. It was authored by conservative justice Neil Gorsuch, who was joined by the court's more liberal and swing members.

  • Title VII explicitly prohibits discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," but it did not specifically name sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes.

What they're saying: "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."
  • "Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. ... But the limits of the drafters' imagination supply no reason to ignore the law's demands."
  • "When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it's no contest. Only the written word is law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit."

Read the ruling:

Go deeper

Behind Trump's tweet about his forthcoming SCOTUS list

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Top aides and advisers to President Trump have been urging him to put together a new list of Supreme Court Justices ahead of the November election in an effort to pump up his base and remind them why a Republican needs to remain in the White House, people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Discussions among Trump administration officials, Senate Judiciary staff and outside groups ramped up after Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first SCOTUS nominee, delivered the majority decision prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

Updated Jun 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court orders judge to dismiss case against Michael Flynn

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The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling on Wednesday that the federal judge overseeing the sentencing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn must accept the Justice Department's request to drop charges.

Why it matters: It could mark the end of a long-running legal fight that began with Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI in December 2017 about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the Trump administration's transition into office.

Georgia passes bipartisan hate crimes bill

Protesters in Brunswick, Georgia on June 4 after a court appearance by Gregory and Travis McMichael, who were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Georgia's legislature voted 127-38 on Tuesday to pass a bill requiring police officers to document when someone is subjected to a hate crime on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion or national origin.

The big picture, via the Wall Street Journal: Georgia has been weighing the passage of a hate crimes law for two decades.