The immediate impact of the 7th Circuit's decision Tuesday is that employers in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin — the states under the court's jurisdiction — would be breaking federal law by showing bias against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
But because the ruling conflicts with all the others made by federal appellate courts since the 1970s, the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately have to decide whether to uphold the Chicago ruling as national precedent or strike it down as judicial overreach.
Here's a look on how that might happen on a court currently operating with eight justices pending the Senate confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominee, Neil Gorsuch:
Eleven 7th Circuit judges heard arguments in November in a lawsuit by an Indiana teacher, Kimberly Hively, who alleged that Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend didn't hire her full time because she is a lesbian.
After deliberating for four months, the court ruled decisively — 8 to 3 — that the 53-year-old law most closely associated with prohibitions on racial discrimination also barred discrimination against LGBT workers.Read more at CNSNews