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Sex Discrimination

Courthouse Steps: Sessions v. Morales-Santana Update - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Curt Levey June 27, 2017

On November 9, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lynch v. Morales-Santana. Morales-Santana’s father was born in Puerto Rico but acquired U.S. citizenship in 1917 under the Jones Act of Puerto Rico. Morales-Santana was born in 1962 in the Dominican Republic to his father and Dominican mother, who were unmarried at the time. In 1970, upon his parents’ marriage, he was statutorily “legitimated” and was admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident in 1976.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which was in effect at the time of Morales-Santana’s birth, limits the ability of an unwed citizen father to confer citizenship on his child born abroad, where the child’s mother is not a citizen at the time of the child’s birth, more stringently than it limits the ability of a similarly situated unwed citizen mother to do the same.

In 2000, Morales-Santana was placed in removal proceedings after having been convicted of various felonies. An immigration judge denied his application for withholding of removal on the basis of derivative citizenship obtained through his father. He filed a motion to reopen in 2010, based on a violation of equal protection and newly obtained evidence relating to his father, but the Board of Immigration Appeals denied the motion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the Board’s decision, however, and concluded that Morales-Santana was a citizen as of birth. The Attorney General of the United States then obtained a grant of certiorari from the Supreme Court.

The two questions before the Supreme Court were: (1) whether Congress’s decision to impose a different physical-presence requirement on unwed citizen mothers of foreign-born children than on other citizen parents of foreign-born children violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in conferring U.S. citizenship on respondent, in the absence of any express statutory authority to do so.

Featuring: 

  • Curt Levey, President, Committee for Justice; Legal Affairs Fellow, Freedom Works

Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College - Podcast

Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
Kenneth A. Klukowski, Anthony Michael Kreis June 02, 2017

On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit handed down a divided en banc opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, opening a circuit split on how to interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin[.]" In Hively, the Seventh Circuit became the first Court of Appeals to hold that sex discrimination encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation. It held that plaintiff Kimberly Hively could pursue a claim against her former employer, Ivy Tech Community College, for her firing, which she claimed was motivated by her sexual orientation. In doing so, the court opened a split with the Eleventh Circuit, which had held just a few months earlier that employer decisions based on sexual orientation were not discrimination prohibited by Title VII. In addition to paving the way for a potential Supreme Court case to resolve the issue, the Seventh Circuit's decision includes an array of opinions demonstrating different methods of statutory interpretation.

Featuring:

  • Kenneth A. Klukowski, General Counsel, American Civil Rights Union
  • Prof. Anthony Michael Kreis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Title IX & Gender Identity: Gloucester County v. G.G.

Short video featuring Ilya Shapiro
Ilya Shapiro April 27, 2017

Who has the authority to interpret statutes like Title IX? Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, outlines a debate over the inclusion of gender identity when applying Title IX. Shapiro considers the recent case of Gloucester County v. G.G., which questions whether courts should give deference to a Department of Education guidance letter that stipulates publically-funded schools must provide facilities to accommodate transgender students.

Courthouse Steps: Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. - Podcast

Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
Kyle Duncan January 10, 2017

In late October the Supreme Court accepted a petition from the School Board of Gloucester County, Virginia seeking to overturn a lower court’s order that a 17-year-old transgender student, born female but identifying as male, be allowed to use the boys’ restroom during senior year of high school. The Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX and 34 C.F.R. § 106.33, reflects that public schools must “generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.” The Court will consider this interpretation and hear argument on whether courts should extend deference to unpublished “guidance” letters issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education. Kyle Duncan, attorney for the School Board of Gloucester County, recently filed the Board’s Supreme Court brief and joined us to discuss this important case.

Featuring:

  • Kyle Duncan, Partner, Schaerr Duncan LLP

 

Conscience Cases and Religious Liberty - Podcast

Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
Ryan T. Anderson, Anthony Michael Kreis December 21, 2016

With the legalization of gay marriage, numerous cases have arisen in which private citizens have refused to provide services to same-sex citizens getting married. Bakers, photographers, and even local magistrates have been taken to court for discrimination. In this Teleforum, our Religious Liberties experts will join us to discuss whether refusing products or services for same-sex weddings should count as sexual orientation discrimination, and if so, whether the law should provide exemptions for refusals based on religion or conscience about the nature of marriage.

Featuring:

  • Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy, The Heritage Foundation
  • Prof. Anthony Michael Kreis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law