"Fox News @ Night" anchor and Fox News chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream joined the "Fox News Rundown" podcast Tuesday to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling that employers who fire workers for being gay or transgender violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"For every employer, just about, in this country, [for] those who are covered by Title VII, which is most of them, this is going to be a big change and we have to think about the ripple effects," Bream told host Jessica Rosenthal.
The Civil Rights Act bars employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, sex, color, religion or national origin.
"What the court had looked at is whether or not that generic term 'sex' -- say you hire only men and you won't hire any female employees. That seems like a pretty clear cut case for people," Bream explained. "So what we're asking in 2020 now is the question of whether that word 'sex' means LGBTQ employees, whether it specifically extends [to] if you take adverse employment discrimination against someone because they are transitioning, [or] because they are gay.
"In a 6-3 decision authored by one of the newer justices, Neil Gorsuch, he said, 'Yes, Title VII does apply to those situations."
Gorsuch was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and the four members of the court's so-called "liberal wing": Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.
"Judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations," Gorsuch wrote. "In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee."
"It's interesting, in his [opinion], he [Gorsuch] said, 'I'm not getting into locker rooms or, you know, any of these restroom facilities,'" Bream said. "'I'm not getting into any of that stuff. We're not going there. This decision doesn't apply to those kinds of things ... Those are separate cases that may come before us at some point, but we're not going there.'"
Bream added that other potential cases that could stem from Monday's decision involve whether "places of worship now be forced to hire employees that don't live by the tenets of their faith."
"A good example are often Catholic schools," she said. "If they hire teachers and the teachers say, 'I will live by the tenets of the Catholic faith,' and then either they're living with a partner outside of marriage or they have a same-sex wedding and marriage, then the school can come back and say, 'Well, listen, you're teaching the kids, you had agreed to abide by the church's teachings and we can't keep you working here in this position as a teacher.' I think those are the kinds of cases that will now come up in that context. And Justice Gorsuch said, 'We're not addressing any of that.'"
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