Bostock v. Clayton County & Altitude Express v. Zarda

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed our third amicus brief in support of Altitude Express from a case brought by a homosexual skydiving instructor who was fired for speaking inappropriately at work about his sexual orientation. The Altitude Express case has been consolidated with a case from the Eleventh Circuit — Bostock. As in the Harris Funeral Case, we explain that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Ac does not apply to sexual orientation.

Link to brief

Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief supporting the owners of a small bakery in Oregon (Sweetcakes by Melissa) who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding because of their religious convictions.  For this, they were fined $135,000 and ordered to cease and desist following their religious convictions.  This case is similar to Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop, a case in which we filed two briefs, but which was not decided on the central issue — the extent to which public accommodation can restrict the Free Exercise of Religion. Read More

Law 360 Article Discusses our Harris Funeral Home Brief

admin Press Coverage, Statutory Construction

Bill Olson was quoted in an article by Braden Campbell called “States, Faith Groups Tell Justices To Hear Trans Bias Case,” in Law 360:  “’We have a lower federal judiciary that’s spinning out of control as circuits race toward political correctness, and if the Supreme Court doesn’t restore order, it’s hard to know where this is going to end,’ Olson said, referencing other rulings interpreting Title VII to cover gay workers.” Read More

Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging the court to grant a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to review its decision giving a meaning to Title VII that Congress never intended.  The Sixth Circuit decided to change a 50-year old understanding of Title VII to accommodate to the demands of LGBTQ activists, by barring employment discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”  Our brief explained the radical nature of recent the Hively and Zarda cases where courts chose to amend Title VII under the guise of re-interpretation of the statute.  This follows on the two briefs we filed in Zarda, and the earlier brief we filed in the Harris Funeral Home case when it was in the Sixth Circuit. Read More

Article: Trump Administration Rift on LGBT Worker Rights Nears Showdown

admin Press Coverage, Statutory Construction

Chris Opfer of BNA News wrote an article about the Zarda case where we filed a brief and other similar cases.where LGBTQ? advocates are asking judges to re-write the 1964 Civil Rights Act to grant them special rights.

The Article quotes Bill Olson, saying “Not only is it an effort to have a societal sanction for an immoral lifestyle, but it’s being accomplished by unelected judges who are admitting they are changing the law,” Read More

Altitude Express v. Zarda

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a petition for certiorari to review a circuit court decision giving homosexuals the right to sue employers, even though Congress never authorized such suits.  Ten liberal Second Circuit judges joined a decision to rewrite Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in employment.  This follows a similar ruling from the Seventh Circuit. Read More

EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. — Sixth Circuit Discusses Our Amicus Brief

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit’s decision, issued today, addressed an issue that our amicus brief had raised, which had not been raised by the parties. That issue was whether the Harris Funeral Home qualified under the “ministerial exception” to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Sixth Circuit disagreed, ruling that the Funeral Home did not qualify. Unfortunately, the Harris Funeral Home — which was owned and administered by a Christian Family — had previously decided that it would not seek that protection — asserting that it was “not a religious organization.” The Sixth Circuit cited cases which have narrowed the ministerial exception to only overtly religious organizations such as churches. It is our view that many Christian business owners run their businesses very much like ministries. However, this is a concept that is foreign to many of the lawyers who work in this area, and the judges who rule on these cases who want the statutory exception to be interpreted as narrowly as possible. Read More

Kenosha School District v. Whitaker

admin Statutory Construction, U. S. Supreme Court

In our brief, we challenged the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which had concluded that there was no privacy interests of other students implicated by members of the opposite sex using their restrooms.  This, we argued, rejected out of hand the long standing and universal practice of restroom separation by sex, based on nothing more than the judges’ own policy preferences.  Moreover, we argued, the court’s opinion was utterly oblivious to the numerous adverse consequences that would flow from its decision, applying not just to restrooms but to school locker rooms and showers as well, which will lead to all manner of disruption and injury to students. Read More

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado against an order of a Colorado Administrative agency which would compel a Christian baker to facilitate and participate in the celebration of a same-sex wedding.

Link to brief

Article: “Court gets refresher course in who actually writes laws”

Michael Harless Press Coverage

World Net Daily ran an article about our firm’s brief filed in Zarda v. Altitude Express.  The article addressed the factual problem with the case that we raised, in that the Appellant’s brief admitted that Zarda, a homosexual, was not fired because he was homosexual, but because he “over-shared” his sexual orientation with customers.  The article also focuses on our argument that the Courts have no business legislating from the bench.

Link to article

Zarda v. Altitude Express

Michael Harless Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Today, we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sitting en banc, where we are opposing efforts by radical homosexuals to convince liberal judges in New York to re-write the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in employment.

Currently, the 1964 federal law bars discrimination in employment on the basis of “sex” and “race.”  However, in Zarda, lawyers for a homosexual skydiving instructor (since deceased from a skydiving accident) are claiming “sex” includes “sexual orientation,” and that Zarda was fired from his job because he was gay. Read More

EEOC v. Harris Funeral Home

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Today we filed a brief in the Sixth Circuit supporting a Christian Funeral Home in a suit by the EEOC on behalf of a man employed by that funeral home who would like to dress in women’s clothing for one year as he “transitions.”   The EEOC made the naked assertion that the claim for this employee was supported by the text of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but failed to explain it.  (The provision relating to “sex” was inserted into the bill by Virginia Congressman Howard W. Smith to prohibit discrimination against women, as a poison pill to kill the bill, but it passed anyway.)  The EEOC relied solely on the Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, which was said to prohibit “sexual stereotyping.”  Our brief explains the weaknesses in that decision, and why it does not apply here.  Lastly, we explained why the EEOC provision would undermine the funeral home’s Christian witness. Read More

G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board

Michael Harless Statutory Construction, U. S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Today we filed our third amicus brief defending the Gloucester County School Board against an ACLU challenge on behalf of a girl who would like to be a boy.  The prior litigation involved the Obama Administration’s directives to the School Board to open the boys room and boys locker and shower facilities to Gavin Grimm.  However, President Trump rescinded those guidance letters.  Therefore, the question before the Fourth Circuit no longer whether deference should be paid to the Executive Branch, but whether federal law requires School Boards to allow students to use whatever facilities they may choose to use based on the sex with which they may self-identify.  This brief was a Supplemental Brief filed in the Fourth Circuit on that statutory issue. Read More

Article: “Bar association’s speech code denounced as unconstitutional”

Michael Harless Press Coverage

This article in World Net Daily discusses the series of four articles our firm wrote for the U.S. Justice Foundation on the American Bar Association’s latest effort to make the nation’s lawyers behave in a politically correct manner — ABA Ethics Rule 8.4.  The article states “Titus and Olson contend it’s the ABA’s “plan to politically purify the legal profession.”

Link to article Read More

Article: Herbert W. Titus on “Judge Posner’s Emporium”

Michael Harless Publications

Today Herb Titus wrote a powerful critique of 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner’s astonishing concurring opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, issued April 4, 2017.  That case determined that discrimination based on “sex” really means “sexual orientation” — irrespective of what Congress meant when it enacted Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  The article was published by the Judicial Action Group. Read More