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Trump’s SCOTUS picks justify LGBTQ fears

Trump’s SCOTUS picks justify LGBTQ fears

Trump’s SCOTUS picks justify LGBTQ fears
November 21
17:26 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump, with his finalized list of potential Supreme Court justices, has confirmed that protecting civil liberties is not one of his priorities.

The LGBTQ community is justifiably concerned about several of the Supreme Court picks Trump has named, and their reputations shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Even though in a “60 Minutes” interview, Trump suggested that further discussion about same-sex marriage is “irrelevant because it was already settled,” several potential Supreme Court justices are fervently anti-gay.

The final list is:

  1. Keith Blackwell
  2. Charles Canady
  3. Steven Colloton
  4. Allison Eid
  5. Neil Gorsuch
  6. Raymond Gruender
  7. Thomas Hardiman
  8. Raymond Kethledge
  9. Joan Larsen
  10. Mike Lee
  11. Thomas Lee
  12. Edward Mansfield
  13. Federico Moreno
  14. William Pryor
  15. Margaret A. Ryan
  16. Amul Thapar
  17. Timothy Tymkovich
  18. David Stras
  19. Diane Sykes
  20. Don Willett
  21. Robert Young

With the inclusion of people such as Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, the lists that Trump has released gives the LGBTQ community a reason to be afraid.

Lee, a junior senator, was prominent in forwarding the First Amendment Defense Act. The act was not designed to protect the First Amendment. It was legislative gay-bashing.

There were conditions stated in the act where businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals – including government employees with religious objections to marital equality – had the right to deny same-sex couples their goods and services.

Lee supporting the First Amendment Defense Act should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has not been very long since Lee supported the State Marriage Defense Act.

The State Marriage Defense Act, forwarded by Lee, Ted Cruz and House Rep. Randy Weber of Texas’ 14th District, was quintessential of ultraconservative thought. For this reason, it is surprising how neither Cruz nor Weber appear on Trump’s final list.

Timothy Tymkovich is equally as threatening to women as Lee is to LGBTQ community. Tymkovich, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, wrote the majority opinion in the Hobby Lobby case. The case addressed whether or not employers had a right to deny healthcare insurance coverage of certain types of contraception to employees.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young, who allegedly admires the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is not as forthcoming with his opinion on marriage equality like several of Trump’s nominees are.

Also, Young reportedly said that “the law is being decided at the federal court level” and he expects the Supreme Court will decide the issue before long.

Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady, a significant opponent of marriage equality, served four terms in the House of Representatives.

In 1996, when the House considered the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Hawaiian courts were hearing a marriage equality case. This, in and of itself, should be considered a red flag by the LGBTQ community. Canady was not happy.

“Should we let three judges in Hawaii decide to redefine marriage, not only for the people of Hawaii, but for the rest of the country as well?” Canady said at the time. “I really can’t imagine how anyone could, in good conscience, oppose the proposition that the states should be able to deny the status of marriage to same-sex unions.”

It wasn’t until 2013 that the Supreme Court finally gutted the DOMA.

Other SCOTUS potentials include Blackwell, a justice of the Georgia Supreme Court; Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mansfield; Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida; Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and Thapar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Trump’s SCOTUS list only promises reduced rights for Americans. Imagine the highest American court with a conservative learning majority. SCOTUS, with a dominant conservative voice, has the power to address any issue Republicans want to reverse.

While we shouldn’t forget that conservative values don’t reflect the nation as a whole, the ideology isn’t what should be objected. It is the way those values are imposed on people that causes issues.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Shain E. Thomas

Shain E. Thomas

Born in Sacramento, University of North Texas graduate student Shain E. Thomas is an actor, social historian and a freelance entertainment journalist. Shain, a member of National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) and the UNT chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), is interested in studying Antebellum American history.

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