The justice department received an order from the Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing it to take a position that the transgender people are not protected by any civil right against discrimination regarding their gender, in case a lawsuit is brought to them. This is indeed the most recent move for the President Donald Trump’s administration to contradict the civil right enforcement that were put in place by the Obama administration. In the year 2014, the then attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. told the Justice Department to look at sex as gender identity that includes protection to the transgender people. The directive was however halted by Mr. Session in a memo that was only two pages, stating that the word sex means biologically male or female. Mr. Sessions went on to say that the Department of Justice will take up this position in all the matters that it will be presented with be they pending or future. The only exception will be in cases that are dictated otherwise by the lower-court.
The change in policy comes in as the Justice Department is faced with a discriminatory employment suit in Oklahoma. A transgender plaintiff filed the case. A previous ruling by a judge who had been appointed by President George W. Bush stated that the Civil Rights Act provided cover to gender identity, therefore agreeing with the interpretation of the department during President Barack Obama’s incumbency. The federal appeals courts have had different views regarding the ban of sexual discrimination to gender identity by the Civil Rights Act.
The instructions of Attorney General Jeff Sessions means that at no particular time will the justice Department side with the transgender plaintiffs in lawsuits about discrimination at the workplace, imploring the Civil Right Act. The department is expected to either remain on the sideline or tell courts that the law ought not to be interpreted as banning discrimination on accounts of gender. The position taken by the Attorney General does reverse not only the point of view of the Obama’s incumbency but also puts the Justice Department between a rock and a hard place with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. About three months prior Mr. Sessions move, the Justice Department had taken the position that the Civil Rights Act’s ban does not provide for sexual orientation. The Supreme Court is yet to resolve the burning question on what sex denotes, be it gender identity or sexual orientation