NATIONAL NEWS: Supreme Court rejects DACA end, gives LGBT workers protections

(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)

The U.S. Supreme Court made headlines this week with two big decisions. On Monday, the court determined that  members of the LGBT community deserved workplace protection. On Thursday, the country’s highest court allowed 650,000 DREAMers to remain in the country and said the White House would have to do more work in order to end the DACA program for immigrants.

The DACA decision was 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts making the fifth decisive vote. After the vote, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers released this statement:

“I’ve long said I didn’t agree with the way the previous administration went about enacting DACA, but when President Trump announced his decision to end the program, it became clear that Congress needed to act to provide long-term certainty for these individuals who came here at no fault of their own,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Today’s decision doesn’t change the fact that Congress needs to work to establish common-sense policies for children of immigrants, like those here in Eastern Washington, and recognize their unique circumstances and the value they bring to the country as students, job-holders, members of the military, and members of society.”

The Supreme Court said that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA was “arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act.” reports the Associated Press.

President Trump called the ruling “politically charged” and said the 2020 election is important so he can appoint more conservative judges.

According to the Associated Press, the DACA program that was started in 2012 under then President Barack Obama gave temporary protection from deportation to qualified individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Under the program, the DREAMers were allowed to work legally and apply for college loans if they met certain requirements and passed a background check.

On Monday, the Supreme court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers, the Associated Press reports.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”

While Washington State has workplace discrimination protections of LGBT workers, other states do not, so it is a big decision for the country’s estimated 8.1 million LGBT workers.