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Justice Gorsuch Channels Humpty Dumpty

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The people who are unraveling America scored a trifecta at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 15. 

The “conservative” Court ruled in a majority 6-3 opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the four leftists, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 suddenly includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” 


In practice, this means that sexual inclinations and any corresponding behaviors trump biology and all constitutional rights, such as speech, assembly, property and economic liberty. The scope of this hijacking of civil rights law in the Bostock case is breathtaking.  It puts a bullseye on every institution and sane person and will lead to more Maoist-style coerced speech.

It’s one thing for a man to claim he’s a woman; it’s another to penalize people who won’t go along with his delusion.  So much for “science.” 

The Court also declined to hear 10 cases in defense of the Second Amendment, whose guarantee of the right to bear arms is being eaten away by leftist politicians and judges.  

And, the Court gave illegal immigration a boost by declining to hear President Trump’s challenge to the Left’s illegal “sanctuary cities.”   Later, the Court upheld the Obama-imposed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which changed the law without Congress’ approval. 

The latter two issues will arise again, but the damage from the first – the addition of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Civil Rights Act – will unleash a tidal wave of legal assaults on businesses, schools and even churches.   

Critics rightly have exposed the tortured legal reasoning and judicial activism of this ruling.  The highest court in the land has replaced the rule of law with whatever view a majority of justices feel is “current.” This is right up there with Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade and Obergefell. 


But if this had been done via legislation, such as the Equality Act, it would be no less wrong. A more conservative Congress could fix this, notes legal analyst Jan LaRue.  “They can undo the decision by adding one word before sex in Title VII – biological.”

Justice Gorsuch, President Trump’s first Supreme Court appointee, boasts of being an originalist and textualist.  In 2018 and 2019 opinions, he insisted that words be “interpreted as taking their ordinary meaning … at the time Congress enacted the statute…. If judges could freely invest old statutory terms with new meanings, we would risk amending legislation.” 

So, why is he channeling Humpty Dumpty?

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

“’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

“’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.” (From Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”)

The transformation of federal law into an LGBTQ battering ram will undermine morality, marriage, families, religious and economic liberty and freedom of conscience.   

The idea that this merely expands “civil rights” is nonsense.  It allows sexual behavior to nullify other civil rights. As LGBTQ activist Chai Feldblum candidly observes, “civil rights is a zero-sum game.”  


She’s right.  Enforcement of one right comes at the expense of another, arguably lesser right. This is a bargain Americans originally accepted for the specific purpose of righting the wrongs of slavery and Jim Crow laws. 

But, unlike race, sexual behavior can be “fluid,” as famously evidenced by Bruce Jenner’s transformation into “Caitlyn.” Litigants can claim limitless “orientations.” Facebook, for instance, lists 58 “gender options.”  Virtually any behavior can be defended as part of a particular “identity.” 

No matter how bizarre someone behaves, employers must look the other way or risk a lawsuit. 

The funeral home owner in the Bostock case was told he had no right to terminate a man who came to work dressed as a woman. So what if his female attire might have confused and disturbed grieving families? They need to get on the “woke” bus.

One guaranteed outcome:  As with Obamacare’s imposition, more employers will get rid of full-time employees and hire contractors. Welcome to the growing “gig” economy.  

In a 13-minute address on Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, ripped the ruling as judicial legislating. He also accused the GOP establishment of breaking the unwritten agreement with religious conservatives that if they would “shut up” about everything else, they would get judges who would protect their First Amendment rights.  It had worked pretty well up to now under Mr. Trump.


But this treacherous ruling endangers liberty for all Americans, not just religious conservatives.  And it’s one more attack on American culture, already reeling under daily assaults.

Democrats hailed the ruling. Why not? They bless lawlessness. Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan, in whose city thugs commandeered a six-block area (now three blocks) where a self-imposed warlord struts around with guns, praised the occupation as “democracy.”  When asked how long this would go on, she answered, “I don’t know. We could have the Summer of Love.”

I don’t think that word means what she thinks it means.  To which the Democrats and their Humpty Dumpty helpers on the Supreme Court might say, “who cares?”

Robert Knight is a Townhall contributor. His website is 

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