Speed Reads

the times they are a-changin'

Trump, most Senate Republicans shrug off or applaud Supreme Court's 'powerful' LGBTQ rights ruling

The Supreme Court's 6-3 decision Monday that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender workers from employment discrimination set off a firestorm among social conservatives, potentially further eroding President Trump's re-election hopes, and it upended the Trump administration's "broad-based effort to eliminate transgender rights across the government, in education, housing, the military, and, as recently as Friday, health care," The New York Times reports. Trump seemed fine with the ruling.

"I've read the decision," Trump claimed, "and some people were surprised, but they've ruled and we live with their decision. That's what it's all about, we live with the decision of the Supreme Court. Very powerful, a very powerful decision, actually. But they have so ruled."

Many Senate Republicans also reacted to the ruling, written by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch — a Trump appointee they confirmed — with shrugs or gentle applause. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he was "okay" with the ruling, adding that it's "the ruling of the court. I accept it." Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairmen of the committee when Gorsuch was confirmed, seemed relieved Congress won't have to decide the issue. "It's the law of the land," he said. "And it probably makes uniform what a lot of states have already done. And probably negates Congress's necessity for acting,"

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was not similarly pleased. "This judicial rewriting of our laws short-circuited the legislative process and the authority of the electorate," Cruz said. "Six un-elected and unaccountable judges instead took it upon themselves to act as legislators, and that undermines our democratic process." Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) concurred, but Cruz's senior colleague from Texas, Sen. John Cornyn (R), up for re-election this year, said the court "interpreted our statute and I'm okay with it." Gorsuch, he added, "is a good judge."

"Seven years ago, just nine Senate Republicans supported a bill codifying workplace protections for sexual orientation and gender identity," Politico reports. "And after it passed the Senate, the GOP-controlled House never took it up."