The recent reinterpretation of a federal prohibition against employment discrimination based on sex by the Supreme Court to include protections of sexual orientation and “gender identity” will “create a tsunami of new litigation” against religious organizations, a former law clerk for conservative Justice Clarence Thomas warns.
Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, made the foreboding prediction in an interview with Breitbart News Tonight host Rebecca Mansour early last week.
The Supreme Court’s redefinition of “sex” to include sexual orientation and “gender identity” will open the floodgates for leftist lawfare against religious organizations, Severino said.
“The Supreme Court left a lot of really important issues open, like, how do you balance this with religious freedom?” Severino went on. “How do you balance it with freedom of speech? If you’ve got a law, for example, saying that using someone’s preferred pronoun is mandatory — or you can be fined [for non-compliance], how do we balance that with some of these other important and even constitutional questions? Those are things that, for the most part, are unfortunately going to be just decided by a whole range of lower courts. and it will be a long time before the Supreme Court even takes up the opportunity to weigh in on that.”
“These questions are going to create a tsunami of new litigation and create a huge amount of uncertainty going forward,” she added.
Severino warned that the SCOTUS decision will inevitably lead to the targeting of religious organizations that hold to traditional views of marriage and scientific views on sex and gender: “You’re going to see these decisions going overwhelmingly in favor of the litigants [and] the plaintiffs who are challenging any religious organization, or any school, or anyone who wants to maintain a traditional, biologically based, scientific-based understanding of sex.”
“That’s part of the strategy of the activists because they know that many of these organizations can’t afford to pay for defense,” Severino said, explaining that religious groups ill-equipped to defend themselves in court will likely cave to leftist mob pressure. “They can’t afford to risk a negative judgment where they could face crippling fines. If you’re talking about individuals, you’ve seen what’s happened with cases like the Masterpiece Cake Shop case, where someone’s entire business and livelihood could be destroyed and where they can face even personal threats and real concern over their own safety if they are willing to carry on litigation.”
“I think the intimidation factor of a lawsuit is huge, and when you’ve got the court almost inviting that, it’s going to present a real challenge for a lot of people,” Severino explained. “Practically speaking, for the most part, this isn’t even going to be an issue because I think there’s the vast majority of businesses don’t have any reason or desire to discriminate on either of these bases, but there are circumstances where it is either relevant to the job qualifications or where it’s going to be an issue of conscience, and those are the ones where you’re going to have people who are going to be forced to make those tough choices between violating their own conscience and possibly losing their livelihood.”
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