Tuesday, January 21, 2020

We Are Stuck…

With lifetime federal judges that they Republicans and Trump stuffed the courts and we are starting to see the results of that abuse of power.
We’re at war over gender pronouns. Can’t we all just show some respect?
The Washington Post
By Ruth Marcus
January 19, 2020

“I am a woman,” wrote federal prisoner #18479-078. “Can I not be referred to as one?”

Apparently not, according to a ruling last week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Dividing 2 to 1, with Trump appointee Stuart Kyle Duncan writing the opinion, the panel not only rebuffed inmate Norman Varner’s petition for a name change in the prison system to Kathrine Nicole Jett — it rejected her request that the court use the female pronoun in referring to her.

This is a single, obscure skirmish, although a particularly dispiriting one, in the larger pronoun wars. As the country struggles with questions about the legal and social status of transgender individuals — and with the parallel, emerging understanding that others may not fit into a binary, either/or gender category — pronouns have become an unexpectedly and unnecessarily heated area of-contention.
Federal judges hearing these cases have generally treated the transgender litigants with courtesy, which is to say they have used the individual’s preferred pronoun. Not Duncan. He cited the example of his fellow Trump appointee James Ho in the Texas transgender prisoner case, who said he would refer to the transgender female prisoner by the male pronoun, “consistent with” the policy of Texas prison officials.
Vox had this to say about the ruling…
Trump judge lashes out at a transgender litigant in a surprisingly cruel opinion
Judge Kyle Duncan was a prominent anti-LGBTQ lawyer before joining the bench.
By Ian Millhiser
January 17, 2020

Federal appeals courts hear cases that impact the rights of millions. They decide matters with billions of dollars at stake. They sometimes hear cases where thousands of lives hang in the balance.

United States v. Varner is not one of those cases. The main thing at stake in Varner is whether three judges will treat a woman with courtesy or with needless cruelty.

Two of them chose the latter option.
Unfortunately for Jett, she drew a panel of judges dominated by two unusually conservative Republicans. The author of the Court’s opinion in Varner, Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, spent part of his career as general counsel to a leading Christian right law firm and litigated multiple cases seeking to restrict LGBTQ rights.

Among several other cases, Duncan defended the state of Alabama’s failed attempt to strip a lesbian mother of parental rights over her adopted child. He filed a brief arguing against marriage equality in the Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) case. And he represented a school district seeking to bar a trans student from using the bathroom that aligns with his gender identity.
It is only going to get worst!
A third of Trump's court nominees have anti-LGBTQ history, report finds
“The damage that is being done to our federal judiciary may be this administration’s most lasting and dangerous legacy.”
NBC News
By Brooke Sopelsa
December 23, 2019

A third of the more than 50 circuit court judges nominated by President Donald Trump since he took office nearly three years ago have a “demonstrated history of anti-LGBTQ bias,” according to a new report by LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, which asserts that the justice system is “now indisputably in a state of crisis.”

“The damage that is being done to our federal judiciary may be this administration’s most lasting and dangerous legacy,” Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal, said in a statement shared with NBC News.

Lambda Legal has opposed 19 of the Trump administration’s 53 nominees to the country’s 12 circuit courts (50 of whom have since been confirmed) because of their anti-LGBTQ record. Among those that Lambda has opposed are Steven Menashi, Lawrence VanDyke and Allison Jones Rushing, all of whom were confirmed this year to lifetime appointments.
Unlike Trump’s Executive Orders and agencies regulators the judges cannot be changed, these are lifetime appointments.

They still have over a year to pack more anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion judges to the court and if they lose in the fall elections you can bet your bottom dollar that one the Republicans will not hold up the judicial nominees until the Democrats take over like they did for Obama Supreme Court nominee and second they will make stuffing the courts their number one priority. 

1 comment:

  1. This will truly be the worst legacy of the Trump nightmare. Even if people-with-brains turn out in November and tell Mr. Life-is-a-reality-show-starring-me "You're fired" and even if the Dems can get firm control of the Senate, we still will have to deal with all these Neanderthal federal judges that Trump gifted with lifetime appointments. Even if the Supreme Court gets a progressive majority that can eventually correct some of the worst rulings, there will still be a lot of pain and suffering on the way as cases wind through the lower courts. This crap will be with us for generations to come even under the best of future circumstances. Voting Trump out of office is just a first baby step in what needs to happen.