Congratulation to Neil Gorsuch for winning the hotly contented Alfred E. Neuman "What, me worry?" award for Bonehead of the Year. Gorsuch narrowly beat-out fellow conservative, John Roberts, for the distinction.
The "conservative," and "textualist" Gorsuch, threw himself under the bus by writing the majority decision liberalizing the statutory meaning of sex. For good measure, he gave a parting slap in the face to textualists.
The two made uneasy bedfellows with the liberal wing of the Court: Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Three conservative dissenters stood their ground: Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh.
The Supreme Court's clash between its opposing wings was over sex.
To come to some understanding of the Court's revolutionary June 15th decision, we must agree on the meaning of three keywords: conservative, liberal, and sex.
First, whenever the Constitution is involved, toss out the word "conservative." The concept has different meanings to disparate groups and changes over time. Substitute the term, textualist.
Textualism is the practice of interpreting the law based on the ordinary sense of the word in the context of the time in which it was used. Put succinctly; words mean what they are commonly understood to mean.
Second, liberal, too, should be scratched since liberals can be dogmatic and intolerant. We'll use the compound, justice-worrier. The term is not pejorative but descriptive. Their goal is social justice as they perceive it. Unfortunately, even this term eludes precision.
For example, consider the tens of thousands of cases brought before the bench every year. Without exception, all contending parties consider their case just. No one goes to court with an admittedly unjust claim. Justice, then, is purely subjective.
And lastly, the word "sex." Go back to the time the Constitution was ratified in 1790 to June 14, 2020. Sex meant "boy" or "girl," "man" or "woman." Sex was biologically determined; it had nothing to do with opinion. All that changed the day after June 14.
The Supreme Court ruled that we had it all wrong for 230 years. Six of the Nine put it right. Sex was redefined as "sexual orientation" and "gender identification." Sex was whatever one wanted it to be at any time; it was as flexible and adaptable as a ball of putty.
Plaudits to the six "justices" who expanded the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include the LGBTQ. But while victory promises a windfall for tort lawyers it also prompts a few inconvenient questions with unsettling answers:
Question: Can trans men take showers with girls?
Answer: Of course, they're all girls.
Question: What about trans men in women's sports?
Answer: That's women competing with other women.
Question: Should women's restrooms be opened to all LGBTQs?
Answer: Cast aside old discriminatory habits.
Question: Must religious institutions heir LGBTQ?
Answer: Yes, shouldn't they of all people be more inclusive?
Question: Are religious leaders required to officiate at same-sex marriages?
Answer: Why not? We are all children of God.
A word of caution, be extra careful about the "correct" use of pronouns. In New York City, a person who intentionally and repeatedly refuses to use an individual's preferred pronoun could be subject to fines reaching $250,000. You can also be fined for not calling people "ze" or "hir," if that's the pronoun they demand. In California, any of the above could mean time in a state hotel to reflect upon your crimes.
In Alaska, "gender identity" allows trans men to sleep in a women's shelter, a place for women seeking refuge from sex trafficking and abuse. Too bad. But sometimes consideration and common sense must be abandoned for justice.
Presently, 18 additional states have laws against discrimination based on gender identity and expression. And that's barely the top 10 percent of this troublesome iceberg. Time will reveal the 90 percent as yet unseen.
Bob Scroggins, New Milford, PA