The Supreme Court appeared divided over whether federal civil rights law protects LGBTQ people from job discrimination.
The court heard arguments on Tuesday in two closely watched LGBTQ cases. These cases were the court’s first on LGBTQ rights since Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment.
In the first case, Chief Justice John Roberts wondered, if the court finds that sexual orientation is covered by civil rights law, whether there should be exemptions for employers with sincerely held religious beliefs. The second case examined whether transgender individuals are protected under the law.
Justice Neil Gorsuch had said there are strong arguments favoring the LGBTQ workers. But Gorsuch suggested that maybe Congress, not the courts, should change the law because of the upheaval that could ensue. “It’s a question of judicial modesty,” Gorsuch said.
With files from the Associated Press