An internal memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was leaked to the press this week and it showed that the Trump regime was preparing to tell all federal agencies that transgender people are not covered by federal civil rights laws. The Trump regime will argue that laws against discrimination based on "sex" do not include gender identity, which is nonsensical.
Trump's Department of Justice (DOJ) has now filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that federal laws against discrimination in the workplace do not apply to transgender people.
From Bloomberg Law:
Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the high court that a civil rights law banning sex discrimination on the job doesn’t cover transgender bias. That approach already has created a rift within the Trump administration, contradicting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s view of the law it’s tasked with enforcing.
A Michigan funeral home wants the high court to overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decision finding that the company violated federal workplace discrimination law when it fired Aimee Stephens, a transgender worker. The EEOC successfully sued on behalf of Stephens in that case, but the Justice Department has the sole authority to represent the government before the Supreme Court. The DOJ told the high court that the Sixth Circuit got the case wrong.
Just because the Trump regime has taken this position does not necessarily mean the Supreme Court or any other lower federal court will agree, but the chances that they will are certainly higher when the Department of Justice is making the argument.
It's also possible the Supreme Court will refer this specific case back to the Sixth Circuit now that the federal government (DOJ) is taking a position that contradicts another position held by the federal government (EEOC).
If the Trump regime successfully argues that "sex" does not apply to gender, it's a slippery slope from there and this narrow reading of the law may not be limited to transgender people. It could applied to cis gender people who do not necessarily conform to gender stereotypes. It could be applied to cis women who do not present themselves in a manner that society typically judges to be feminine.
The idea that "sex" does not apply to gender identity is an interpretation of the law that would judge people almost entirely based on their physical appearance alone as many transgender people no longer even vaguely appear to be a member of the opposite sex. Those who easily "pass" as the gender they identify as may escape scrutiny while those who are just beginning their transition could be essentially outlawed from public life.
Just the same, non-binary or androgynous people could find themselves pulled in different directions as society judges them based on appearance, with appearance being completely subjective. Leaving it up to the government to determine if someone is allowed to "pass" or count as a man or woman, or neither, is a recipe for legal and moral disaster.
From a purely practical perspective, this is really bad policy, but it's also cruel and inhumane. It's also unconstitutional if the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment means anything at all.
If the Trump regime gets their way, cities and states must pass their own nondiscrimination laws as quickly as possible and we as individual citizens and consumers should not spend a single a dime at any businesses that discriminates. We must make it politically and financially poisonous.