16-2424 Oral Argument Audio

EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., No. 16-2424, argued October 4, 2017

  • Before Circuit Judges Karen Nelson Moore, Helene N. White, and Bernice B. Donald
  • Presenting Argument (25 minutes allotted per side)
    • For Appellant
      • Anne Noel Occhialino, attorney for Appellant EEOC  (15 minutes) 
      • John Anthony Knight, attorney for Intervenor Aimee Stephens (10 minutes) 
    • For Appellee
      • Douglas G. Wardlow, attorney for Appellee R.G. &. G.R. Harris Funeral Homes (25 minutes) 



Judge White Judge Moore Judge Donald



Anne Noel Occhialino, for Appellant EEOC

2:14 Moore “Do they have to point to an established tenet ….”

4:15 Donald “Do you know in this case whether or not Harris Funeral Home had a policy …”

5:04 Moore “Suppose a religion said as a central tenet that men and women ….”
(and exchange that follows)

9:50 Moore “The clothing benefit claim is an issue in the case, so …”

11:07 Moore “You think that Bailey has been overturned by the Supreme Court?”

12:15 White “Is there any additional process that happens if you go back?”
(and exchange that follows)

John Anthony Knight, for Intervenor Aimee Stephens (beginning 13:06)

17:09 White “I mean, all of those cases were sex stereotype cases, right?”
(and exchange that follows)

20:50 Moore “The district court didn’t have any remedy, then, to rectify …”

21:59 White “The district court had a remedy, it just didn’t use it, right? …”

21:15 Moore “The was summary judgment, right?”


Douglas G. Wardlow, for Appellee R.G. &. G.R. Harris Funeral Homes (beginning 21:40)

21:57 White “I’m losing the end of your sentences; I’m sorry.”

22:10 Moore “So could he have a policy, based on his true, sincere religion …”
(and exchange that follows)

23:19 Donald “And you said that your client should have the right to control the face of the business, …”
(and exchange that follows)

25:19 Moore “So, if somebody had a religion where they believed that their religion was the true religion, ….”
(and exchange that follows)

26:36 White “And what case are you relying on?”

26:43 Moore “Yeah, how does Price Waterhouse help you?

27:21 White “Okay, so you’re saying Barnes and Smith are just – we should ignore them?”

28:18 Moore “What does the record say as to the basis for the firing here?”
(and exchange that follows)

29:15 White “He believes what?”

29:39 Moore “So it seems a little bit narrow in your approach that it’s only a dress code case …”

30:06 Donald “So what if Stephens is public facing and wearing a dark suit …”
(and exchange that follows)

31:50 Moore “Because Stephens was fired before he actually showed up wearing …”
(and exchange that follows)

32:18 Moore “I’m curious – I know you have a limited amount of time, and I do want you to get to the other issue…”

32:52 White “Is your main argument that Price Waterhouse doesn’t apply unless …”

34:55 Moore “How is he forced to pay for if – when the case started – …”
(and exchange that follows)

39:10 Moore “Could you see it being broadened to say the compelling interest is in Stephens not being fired …”
(and exchange that follows)

43:21 White “No what?”

43:51 White “But, I mean, it’s almost as if you’re arguing that dressing consistent with your assigned gender …”
(and exchange that follows)

45:17 Moore “But if, on the ‘pay for’ side, if Ross didn’t provide …”
(and exchange that follows)

46:24 White “As an enforcement agency, the EEOC could say …”
(and exchange that follows)


Anne Noel Occhialino, for EEOC (beginning 48:07)

No questions from judges

John Anthony Knight, for Aimee Stephens (beginning 51:26)

No questions from judges