Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Donald Trump's Anti-LGBT Supreme Court Picks

Some have tried to claim that Donald Trump would be less hostile toward LGBT citizens than some of the other Republican presidential candidates would be.  Like so much of what hears from self-loathing (and greed motivated, money loving) gay Republicans,  such claims are seemingly nothing more than wishful thinking.  At least that is the conclusion to be reached from Donald Trump's supposed list of potential Supreme Court justice nominees.  None are gay friendly and some are outright hostile or backed by anti-gay organizations.  The Advocate looks at Trump's toxic list of would be Court nominees.  Here are highlights:
LGBT Americans have reason to worry about Donald Trump’s list of hypothetical Supreme Court nominees, which includes a judge who tweeted about marrying bacon and one who upheld public funding for student groups that discriminate.
All 11 of Trump’s potential picks, announced today, have solidly conservative judicial records. Not all have ruled in LGBT rights cases, but those who have are largely unsympathetic, and some have the backing of anti-LGBT activists.
Here’s a look at some of Trump’s favorite jurists.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett: He’s definitely one of the more colorful possibilities, as he’s known for his frequent use of Twitter to comment on legal and political matters. In 2015, as the nation was abuzz over the marriage equality case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Willett tweeted the following: I could support recognizing a constitutional right to marry bacon.  More recently, he made sport of transgender-inclusive school policies.
On Texas’s high court, Willett has not been inclined to recognize same-sex marriage. Last year a Texas judge allowed two women, one with ovarian cancer, to marry before the state’s ban on such unions struck down, and the state Supreme Court dismissed Attorney General Ken Paxton’s challenge to the marriage; Willett dissented. He also dissented from the Texas court’s decision not to take up a case on the validity of a same-sex divorce.
Willett was appointed to the court in 2005 by then-Gov. Rick Perry to fill a vacancy and has been reelected by voters twice. In his 2012 primary, he was endorsed by such religious right types as James Dobson, David Barton, Liberty Institute CEO Kelly Shackelford, and Greg Abbott — then Texas’s attorney general, now its governor.
Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Diane Sykes: Sykes was on a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit that in 2006 affirmed a student group’s right to discriminate against those who engage in “homosexual conduct” but still be recognized as an official campus group and receive public funding. Four years later, “the Supreme Court rejected her approach in a similar case,” notesThinkProgress.  
Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras: In 2012, Stras was among the court majority in a case overruling the secretary of state’s assignment of a new title to an anti–marriage equality constitutional amendment going before voters. The original title, chosen by the state legislature, was “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.” Secretary of State Mark Ritchie instead selected “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples,” which legislators thought would make voters more likely to oppose the amendment. 
Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge William H. Pryor Jr.: LGBT activists have been wary of Pryor because he filed a friend of the court brief supporting sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, and he “also cast the deciding vote to oppose hearing a challenge to Florida’s law that banned gay people from adopting,” ThinkProgress reports. He has also derided LGBT rights as “political correctness.”
For the remaining judges on Trump’s list, significant anti-LGBT rulings and comments have yet to surface. They are largely very conservative, though, with records of opposing or at least seeking to limit abortion rights, and seeking to restrict voting rights and workers’ rights.

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