Discrimination law roundup

  • Supreme Court reconvenes for new term and tomorrow will hear cases over whether Title VII ban on sex discrimination extends to sexual orientation and gender identity [SCOTUSBlog symposium with contributors including Richard Epstein, William Eskridge; Will Baude, Volokh Conspiracy; George Will; earlier here, here, here, etc.]
  • New York City Commission on Human Rights declares it a violation of anti-discrimination law to use the term “illegal alien” in workplace, rental, or public accommodation contexts “with the intent to demean, humiliate, or offend a person or persons.” Does it complicate matters that both federal law and the U.S. Supreme Court use “illegal alien” as a neutral descriptive? [Hans Bader]
  • Minneapolis passes law restricting landlords’ taking into account of tenants’ past criminal histories, evictions, credit scores [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
  • Obama-era Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mandated burdensome pay data reporting by employers. Will courts allow a course correction? [Federalist Society teleforum with G. Roger King and James A. Paretti Jr., earlier here and here]
  • Professor who directs social justice center at Washington, D.C.’s American University proposes new federal Department of Anti-Racism that would wield ample power to order everyone around along with preclearance authority over all “local, state and federal public policies”; also “no political appointees” [Politico via Amy Alkon; Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker with more on work of Prof. Ibram X. Kendi]
  • Late in its tenure, Obama administration began warning Fannie Mae that discouraging some of the riskiest mortgages (>43% debt-to-income) “could be seen as a violation of the Fair Housing Act.” Fannie and Freddie “quickly complied” and brought the punch bowl back out [Damian Paletta, Washington Post/MSN]

8 Comments

  • “…will hear cases over whether Title VII ban on sex discrimination extends to sexual orientation and gender identity.”

    Does congress ever legislate a clarifying law, something along the lines of ‘with respect to title VII, the term sex discrimination does/does not include sexual orientation.’ ?

    Unless of course ambiguity was and is the intent of congress, and they wish the courts to do their heavy lifting for them.

  • I think that Congress clearly did not intend the law to cover sexual orientation and gender identity (because it is clearly not in there)…however, the courts tend to rewrite laws to suit themselves, and by then the politicians see which way the wind is blowing, and do not “clarify.”

    This is an ongoing process, and those who believe in a Living Constitution are OK with it.

    • “This is an ongoing process, and those who believe in a Living Constitution are OK with it.”

      At least until the wind starts blowing in the other direction.

  • On the landlord law: Landlords can incur huge liabilities. Not only might a deadbeat stop paying rent for months, but they can trash the place, costing thousands. But worse, the landlord will be held liable if the tenant rapes or stabs another tenant. This risk will cause many landlords to exit the market. duh.

    On the sexual orientation supreme court case, the problem is that creating this new protected class assumes knowledge that employers do not have. It also supports bad behavior by trans persons with no rights to the employer.

  • Minneapolis enacts a law that requires landlords to use “inclusive screening criteria”.

    And then: enact a law that requires hardware stores to use screens that let flies in.

    And then: enact a law that requires locksmiths to make locks that don’t keep people out.

    And then, why not ask the federal government to enact a law that requires Homeland Security to let anyone cross our borders, any time?

    Wait. What?

    • And then: enact a law that requires locksmiths to make locks that don’t keep people out.

      The TSA luggage locks are already a functional example, especially as the master keys have been leaked.

      • See the Lock Picking Lawyer on you tube for all things lock related. Especially on his TSA locks.

  • […] debate.” Earlier on Bostock, Altitude Express, and Harris Funeral Home here, here, here, and here, and more from Dale Carpenter and Scott […]

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