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Vox Sentences: Right to discriminate?

Supreme Court to hear LGBTQ discrimination case; White House announces US troop withdrawal from Syria.


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LGBTQ rights battle hits Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court is back in session and considering if it is illegal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. [NPR / Leila Fadel]
  • More specifically, the high court is taking a closer look at whether a federal law — Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — provides nationwide protection from workplace discrimination to the LGBTQ community, even in states that have no protections in place themselves. [NYT / Adam Liptak]
  • The main dispute involves a Georgia man who was allegedly let go from his job after he joined a gay recreational softball league. Of the two companion cases, one concerns a transgender woman who was fired as she was transitioning. [Reuters / Lawrence Hurley]
  • Many argue Title VII — which states that “it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to discriminate against any individual ... because of such individual’s ... sex,” among other traits — should cover sexual orientation and gender identity because it’s impossible to rule against gay and transgender people without the impermissible sex-based considerations. [SCOTUSblog / Vanita Gupta and Sharon McGowan]
  • This is the first LGBTQ rights case heard before the Supreme Court since the relatively moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, a champion of the movement who helped tip some key decisions with a 5-4 vote, retired last year. [AP / Mark Sherman]
  • The new makeup of SCOTUS is feared by many gay rights activists as they await the first test of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s so-far unclear record on LGBTQ issues. [CNN / Margaret Hoover and Tyler Deaton]
  • Seventeen states offer absolutely no protections against anti-gay harassment, retaliation, and abuse in the workplace, while many solely protect public employees. [Fast Company / Christopher Zara]
  • This is just one of several big cases SCOTUS will hear this term. [Vox / Ian Millhiser]

White House: US troops to leave Syria

  • The White House announced on Sunday plans to pull all US troops out of Syria, which was decried by their Kurdish allies as a go-ahead to Turkish aggression. [Al Jazeera]
  • A loose coalition of Kurdish-led forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces, banded together to help the US fight ISIS in the region and are now under threat of attack from Turkey, who considers these Kurds to be terrorists working against the Turkish state. [NYT / Ben Hubbard]
  • The Pentagon reportedly disagreed with Trump’s decision, which followed his call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. [Al Monitor / Jack Detsch]
  • Democrats and Republicans are speaking out against the decision, and, notably, some of Trump’s biggest supporters plan to take action against the pullout. [Politico / Quint Forgey and David Cohen]
  • European allies joined American politicians in vocalizing their displeasure about US disengagement from the Syrian crisis. [Washington Post / James McAuley and Rick Noack]



“It’s a story written, and it’s a chapter closed, and it’s on to other things. But it’s been an unbelievable journey.” [US women’s soccer head coach Jill Ellis after her last game with the team Sunday]

Watch this: How Syria’s Kurds are trying to create a democracy

A new democracy is a contentious project in the region, but the Kurds won’t take no for an answer. [YouTube / Sam Ellis]

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