What's next for the right-wing conservatives to try in making this country fair for only white, Christian, and homophobic citizens? Why the justice system, of course. If you can't get a law passed banning anything that prohibits them from excluding balanced, fair or common sense thinking in the jury room, these narrow-minded conservatives may face extinction. And they're not going down without a fight.
Here's the latest from the LA TIMES:
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court became the first in the nation to rule that prospective jurors may not be excluded because of their sexual orientation, a decision that expands juror protections beyond race and gender and provides legal ammunition to challenge laws that limit gay rights.
The sweeping, unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a mixed jury verdict in an antitrust case involving an AIDS drug. The 9th Circuit said the case would have to be retried because an obviously gay juror was unjustifiably excluded from the jury.
Truthfully, I had never heard of the jury system excluding people for sexual orientation, but evidently I was just unaware. Here we are in 2014 and someone's sexual direction could be used against them in a court of law. I know accused criminals have the right to remain silent, but evidently those determining their guilt were supposed to exclude themselves if the crime was federal.
But really there's two issues that I've put in bold print that I find nothing short of amazing. To start with, this case quoted above is the FIRST in the nation to make this discriminatory ruling out of bounds. Really? Only now?
And the second issue is the more important one. "...an obviously gay juror" -- what's an obviously gay juror? Did he/she wear make-up? Did they hit on the same-sex foreman? Did they have a membership card they were flaunting in the RuPaul fan club? What makes someone "obviously gay?"
That's the amazing part of this outrageous but eye-opening story. Until now, if someone looks differently than another person and fits a stereotypical image, they can be excluded from a jury? And according to the article, part of which is quoted below, they still can be.
I thought justice was blind. Look at Lady Justice balancing her scales. Did you notice something else about her? She's blindfolded. There's a reason for that.
Thankfully the 9th federal circuit court of appeals court made this first in the nation, unanimous finding. But it only deals with a small portion of this country. It's not national.
Tuesday's landmark ruling extended the restriction to federal courts in California and courts in eight other Western states, lawyers said.
Now let's wake up the rest of the nation. Justice is seriously being challenged.
This particular case had to do with an antitrust lawsuit involving an AIDS drug. For that reason alone, the "obviously gay" juror was dismissed. We allow doctors to sit as jurors on medical trials. We allow lawyers to sit on juries despite perhaps having knowledge not admissible to lay jurors. Why can't we have LGBT jurors sitting in on any case of any origin in any area, AIDS related or not? Aren't they people too?