HRC Blog

Senate Panel Approves Bill That Would Ban LGBT Discrimination in Jury Selection

A Senate panel has approved legislation that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in a fundamental part of American citizenship – serving on juries in federal court.

The bill, which was introduced in January by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), was part of a larger financial appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014.

The bill, the Jury Access for Capable Citizens and Equality in Service Selection (ACCESS) Act, was first introduced in the 112th Congress and prohibits attorneys from seeking to strike potential federal jurors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Current law protects against discrimination during jury selection on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin and economic status.

A similar bill, the Juror Non-Discrimination Act, was introduced in the House in January by Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif.

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