The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Thompson v. North American Stainless LP, 567 F.3d 804 (6th Cir. 2009) (en banc), which held that a fired employee lacked standing to bring a Title VII retaliation claim as the mere fiancé (later husband) of a woman who had brought a discrimination charge of her own. The 10-6 en banc holding of the Sixth Circuit requires a plaintiff to have engaged in protected activity by opposing discrimination in his own right or as an actual party to the case of another. Close relational status alone, the Sixth Circuit held, is not enough. Reviewing decisions of other circuits holding likewise, the en banc court stated that “§ 704(a) of Title VII does not create a cause of action for third-party retaliation for persons who have not personally engaged in protected activity.” While this case will not be briefed or argued until the next term, which begins in October, it is interesting to note that the outcome is anything but clear. Despite many assertions that the Supreme Court has been unfriendly to individuals, it has been willing to take up attenuated retaliation claims such as Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White, a 2006 decision imposing Title VII liability on an employer that acts to dissuade a reasonable employee from bringing or aiding a complaint, and Crawford v. Metro. Gov't of Nashville and Davidson County, a 2009 decision reversing the Sixth Circuit and holding that a female employee, who was fired after she stated in an internal investigation that she had been sexually harassed, had standing to bring a retaliation claim even though she did not initiate the investigation or even file a sexual harassment complaint. Given the Supreme Court's recent history, the Thompson case bears watching closely.