LGBTQ rights aren’t on Supreme Court’s docket this term, but they’re still in its crosshairsFor us the impact could be the court ruling on the right to privacy in what goes on in our bedrooms.
Two cases could put them in great danger.
By Kimberly Atkins Stohr
September 23, 2021
The US Supreme Court starts its term next month without any cases on its docket dealing directly with LGBTQ rights. But two potential blockbuster cases set to be decided this term could have devastating effects on LGBTQ people, weakening long-held constitutional precedents that have served to underpin their rights, and putting them in greater danger of physical harm as hate crimes in America rise.
The fact that the court could strike down the constitutional protection to abortion access in Roe v. Wade has already made headlines and put reproductive rights advocates on high alert. Similarly, the possibility that the court could broaden the Second Amendment’s application to strike down laws — in Massachusetts and several other states — that place limits on carrying firearms in public has raised alarm among gun control advocates.
But the impact of such rulings will be much broader.
The future of Roe comes down to whether the justices still believe the constitutional privacy right on which Roe stands emanates from the “liberty” right in the Constitution.Also non-discrimination laws could be affected, religious exemption could broaden!
Such unenumerated rights form the basis of a host of civil rights and other protections: the right to use contraception, to enter an interracial marriage, and to engage in a consensual intimate relationship without criminal penalty.
But if the court throws the privacy right out the window, it could make it less likely, for example, for the court to extend its privacy-right-based past rulings to apply to the right of gay couples to adopt, or the right to access gender-conforming surgery.
Other cases the court could take up this term could expand the ability of people and organizations to claim religious-based exemptions from statutory laws, including those that prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people. The court’s willingness on its shadow docket — unsigned orders issued without full briefing or argument — to grant such exemptions to churches and other religious groups who objected to pandemic-related restrictions on large gatherings is a strong tea leaf.When we go to court it is a crap-shoot! You are at the mercy of the judge and the jury.
This come at a time when people are losing confidence in the courts, last month a Gallup poll found,
By Jeffrey M. JonesSeptember 23, 2021Americans' opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court have worsened, with 40%, down from 49% in July, saying they approve of the job the high court is doing. This represents, by two percentage points, a new low in Gallup's trend, which dates back to 2000. The poll was conducted shortly after the Supreme Court declined to block a controversial Texas abortion law. In August, the court similarly allowed college vaccine mandates to proceed and rejected a Biden administration attempt to extend a federal moratorium on evictions during the pandemic.[…]In recent weeks, three Supreme Court justices -- Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer -- have made public speeches defending the court and its decision-making. These speeches have come amid pressure from some Democrats to expand court membership, presumably to add more liberal-leaning justices. This is likely a response to Republican President Donald Trump's nominating three conservative justices in his four-year presidential term, the first after the Republican-led Senate refused to consider Democratic President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016, citing the upcoming presidential election, and the last confirmed by the Senate days before the 2020 election.
The people do not like the way Senator McConnell packed the court with conservative justices.
The plurality of Americans have consistently viewed the court as being "about right" ideologically, and that continues today, with 40% describing it that way. However, perhaps reflecting changes in the composition of the court or its recent decisions, a new high of 37%, up from 32% a year ago, consider the current Supreme Court "too conservative."
Courts interpret the law, they don’t make the laws but they get to decide if the law is Constitutional. So depending on the justices bias they can interpret the same law many ways. And this court has been expanding religious exemptions. In a Philadelphia the court case they ruled that an adoption agency with ties to religious organization didn’t have to follow the non-discrimination laws nor the contract that they signed.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is hearing the Soule v. CIAC case where a woman high school student sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for allowing trans athletes to compete in sports. I see the case going all the way to the Supreme Court
That is why I always get nervous when a case goes to trial.