Laura Kerharo


LGBT rights in the United States have come a long way in the past few decades. Cases such as Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges have shown the critical role of the Supreme Court in attaining equality for LGBT people. Bostock v. Clayton County is the latest case of this kind. Bostock firmly established that workplace discrimination based on gay or transgender status was forbidden under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This essay examines the case’s majority opinion—written by conservative Justice Gorsuch—and Justice Kavanagh’s dissent. It establishes that Justice Gorsuch used a living textualism approach to interpret the word sex under a modern lens. Justice Gorsuch rejected the idea of original intent, claiming that only Article VII’s literal words matter in its interpretation. Justice Kavanagh took issue with this, representing the age-old ideological debate of legislating from the bench.