Alito, J., dissenting
applicant or discharging an employee) "because of" religion. See EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., 575 U. S. ___, ___ (2015) (slip op., at 4). The Court wrote: "'Because of' in §2000e–2(a)(1) links the forbidden consideration to each of the verbs preceding it." Ibid.
Nor is this understanding of "because of" an arcane feature of legal usage. When English speakers say that someone did something “because of ” a factor, what they mean is that the factor was a reason for what was done. For example, on the day this case was argued, January 21, 2015, Westlaw and Lexis searches reveal that the phrase "because of" appeared in 14 Washington Post print articles. In every single one, the phrase linked an action and a reason for the action.
- See al-Mujahed & Naylor, Rebels Assault Key Sites in Yemen, pp. A1, A12 ("A government official . . . spoke on the condition of anonymity because of concern for his safety"); Berman, Jury Selection Starts in Colo. Shooting Trial, p. A2 ("Jury selection is expected to last four to five months because of a massive pool of potential jurors"); Davidson, Some VA Whistleblowers Get Relief From Retaliation, p. A18 ("In April, they moved to fire her because of an alleged 'lack of collegiality'"); Hicks, Post Office Proposes Hikes in Postage Rates, p. A19 ("The Postal Service lost $5.5 billion in 2014, in large part because of continuing declines in first-class mail volume"); Editorial, Last Responders, p. A20 ("Metro’s initial emergency call mentioned only smoke but no stuck train [in part] . . . because of the firefighters’ uncertainty that power had been shut off to the third rail"); Letter to the Editor, Metro's Safety Flaws, p. A20 ("[A] circuit breaker automatically opened because of electrical arcing"); Bernstein, He Formed Swingle Singers and Made Bach Swing, p. B6 ("The group retained freshness because of the ‘stunning musicianship of these singers'"); Schudel, TV Producer, Director Invented Instant Replay, p. B7 ("[The 1963 Army-Navy football game was] [d]elayed one week because of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy"); Contrera & Thompson, 50 Years On, Cheering a Civil Rights Matriarch, pp. C1, C5 (“[T]he first 1965 protest march from Selma to Montgomery . . . became known as 'Bloody Sunday' because of state troopers' violent assault on the marchers"); Pressley, 'Life Sucks': Aaron Posner's Latest Raging Riff on Chekhov, pp. C1, C9 ("'The Seagull' gave Posner ample license to experiment because of