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Wed Jul 3, 2019, 01:00 PM

Prominent Republicans File Brief to Support L.G.B.T. Rights in Legal Case

Source: New York Times

Prominent Republicans File Brief to Support L.G.B.T. Rights in Legal Case

By Jeremy W. Peters
July 2, 2019

WASHINGTON — A group of three dozen current and former Republicans is urging the Supreme Court to declare that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits discrimination against gay men, lesbians and transgender people in the workplace. And they have tailored their arguments to resonate with a seemingly unlikely bloc on the court: its five conservatives.

In an amicus brief that will be filed with the court this week, the Republicans make the case that their view about how the law should be interpreted represents “a common sense, textualist approach” — nodding to the school of legal thought on the right that disapproves of judges who go beyond a law’s text when deciding how to apply it.

The arguments, though novel, are unlikely to satisfy some conservatives who believe that federal nondiscrimination laws do not cover sexual orientation and gender identity because Congress never provided for it in the original statute. The high court has agreed to hear three cases when it returns from its summer recess that concern whether the Civil Rights Act, which bans workplace discrimination based on sex, also guarantees gay and transgender people the same protection.

The cases are expected to provide the first indication of how the court’s new conservative majority will approach L.G.B.T. rights.

The signers of the brief include a host of prominent former elected officials, party leaders and strategists like Alan Simpson, the former senator from Wyoming; Mark McKinnon, the media adviser for George W. Bush; Meg Whitman, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard; and Ken Mehlman, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee who helped lead a similar effort to recruit Republicans for an amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage.

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Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/us/politics/gay-rights-republicans.html

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Related New York Times op-ed: Why Gay Rights Is a Republican Value

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