The U.S. Supreme Court announced on December 11 that it will not review a decision by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled on March 10 that a lesbian formerly employed as a security guard at a Georgia hospital could not sue for sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The full 11th Circuit denied a motion to reconsider the case on July 10, and Lambda Legal, representing plaintiff Jameka Evans, filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking review on September 7. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, 850 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2017), rehearing en banc denied, (July 6, 2017), cert. denied, 2017 WL 4012214 (U.S. Dec. 11, 2017).
At the heart of Lambda’s petition was an urgent request to the Court to resolve a split among the lower federal courts and within the federal government itself on the question whether Title VII, which bans employment discrimination because of sex by employers that have at least 15 employees, can be interpreted to ban discrimination because of sexual orientation.