EQUALITY IN THE COURTS: What Is Important In a U.S. Supreme Court Nominee?
May 19, 2009
Ed. Note: In this blog series, HRC attorneys discuss news and break down legal theories relevant to a U.S. Supreme Court nomination and the pending retirement of Justice David Souter. As potential nominee names swirl ceaselessly through the interwebs, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Selecting a U.S. Supreme Court justice can't be a popularity contest or a debate over who is owed political favors. It must be a careful selection by President Obama followed by a vigorous review by the U.S. Senate. HRC has created an assessment of temperament worthy of lifetime appointments that should include:
- demonstrated commitment to full equality under law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans; individuals living with HIV and AIDS; women; people with disabilities and racial, ethnic, and religious minorities;
- demonstrated commitment to the constitutional right to privacy and individual liberty, including the right of two consenting adults to enter into consensual intimate relationships
- respect for the constitutional authority of Congress to promote equality and civil rights and provide statutory remedies for discrimination and violence;
- sophisticated understanding of and commitment to the separation of church and state and the protection of those citizens with minority religious views;
- respect for state legislatures' attempts to address discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity and other factors through carefully crafted legislation that meets the requirements of the Constitution.
Learn more about federal judicial nominations and follow our work on these crucial issues on HRC's Equality in the Courts page.