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Transgender Identity, Textualism, and the Supreme Court: What is the 'Plain Meaning' of 'Sex' in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?


Jillian T. Weiss


Ramapo College

July 31, 2009

Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Vol. 18, No. 573, 2009

Abstract:     
Federal courts are split on the question of whether Title VII applies to transgender employees. This article traces the history of changes in the meaning of the word “sex”, arguing that textualist judges, including those on the Supreme Court, should find that sex includes transgender identity.

The article reviews the historical changes in the meaning of the terms "transgender" and "sex." It argues that the meaning of "sex" has come to include "gender identity." It also suggests that the judicial philosophy of "textualism" requires Title VII protection under the rubric of "sex discrimination" for a transgender employee.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 77

Keywords: transgender, Civil Rights Act, Title VII, textualist, textualism, Supreme Court, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, LGBT, GLBT, gay, lesbian, transsexual

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Date posted: August 15, 2009 ; Last revised: July 27, 2010

Suggested Citation

Weiss, Jillian T., Transgender Identity, Textualism, and the Supreme Court: What is the 'Plain Meaning' of 'Sex' in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? (July 31, 2009). Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Vol. 18, No. 573, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1454867

Contact Information

Jillian Todd Weiss (Contact Author)
Ramapo College ( email )
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430
United States
201-684-7197 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://phobos.ramapo.edu/~jweiss
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