Deb Price, of the from the Detroit News, has a column up, entitled Obama could tip appeals courts to Dems. She sees hope in potential Obama appointments to the nation’s Appeals Courts, especially for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community:

…For the still-young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement, the makeup of these appeals courts is critical.

Already in the federal courts are challenges to the ban on openly gay members of the military and to part of the 1996 law prohibiting gay married couples from receiving federal benefits.

If Congress and the president expand hate-crime and workplace protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, appeals judges will play a huge role in enforcing those safeguards.

“Never underestimate the importance of having a fair judiciary at every level,” says gay rights litigator Kevin Cathcart of Lambda Legal…

Lambda Legal wants Democrats/the Obama Administration to ask some specific questions of court appointees:

Lambda has urged the Obama team to ensure its judicial nominees respect Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas — groundbreaking Supreme Court decisions recognizing that gays are entitled to equal protection under the Constitution — and to quickly fill federal vacancies but not overlook qualified LGBT lawyers.

Elections matter. That were now discussing LGBT issue friendly court appointments is an example of how much the November 2008 really mattered.


Further reading:

* FindLaw Writ: The Consequences of Lawrence v. Texas; Justice Scalia Is Right that Same Sex Marriage Bans Are At Risk, But Wrong That A Host of Other Laws Are Vulnerable

* Lambda Legal: Romer v. Evans

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen