Professor Jack Harrison bridges academia and jurisprudence with his writing on gender identity and protections – and adds his expansive perspective to his new role as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues.
THE BRIDGE: Professor Harrison has focused his scholarship and public engagement on the intersection of LGBTQ persons and discrimination in education and employment. In 2017, he published “To Sit or Stand”: Transgender Persons, Gendered Restrooms, and the Law, 40 U. Haw. L. Rev. 49 (2017), examining the development of gendered restrooms in America, the debate over which restrooms transgender students are to use and whether Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 includes protection from discrimination in education because of gender identity.
In late 2018, he published Because of Sex, 51 Loy. L.A.L.Rev. 91 (2018), arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes protection from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Then, in 2019, he submitted, with other law and history professors around the nation, an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of EEOC, et. al v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, which involved the question of whether Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination because of sex includes a prohibition against discrimination based on gender identity. His argument: Because the plain text of Title VII prohibits employment discrimination because of sex, there is no reason for the court to speculate about the intent of Congress on whether transgender individuals are covered under it.
HIS AALS SECTION ROLE: “I have the responsibility for working with the section executive committee to develop programming on issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity for the AALS annual meeting. Additionally, the chair of the section and the executive committee will identify
opportunities to submit amicus briefs in cases involving sexual orientation and gender identity issues, and work with section members and outside law firms to draft and submit briefs in those cases. The section chair also coordinates advocacy work within law schools, as they attempt to address emerging issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.”
AT CHASE: Professor Harrison has taught such courses as Civil Procedure, Torts, Trial Advocacy, Family Law and Sexual Identity and the Law. He is faculty coordinator of the National Trial Competition Team and director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy. His research and scholarship, in addition to sexual identity issues, focuses on issues related to civil procedure and federal courts.