Rep. Susan Davis Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Stop LGBT Discrimination for Jury Service
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit removal from a jury based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) joined Davis as lead cosponsor of the bill. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“Equal treatment is a bedrock principle of our judicial system,” said Rep. Davis, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. “Excluding a person from taking part in jury service based on their sexual orientation runs contrary to that principle. Juror discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and economic status is already prohibited. It’s time that the LGBT community be free of such discrimination.”
In 2012, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled that prosecutors illegally dismissed at least one juror based on real or perceived sexual orientation. Last year, the 9th Circuit Court ruled removal of individuals from juries based on sexual orientation or gender identity to be unconstitutional. Davis’s bill would codify the court’s ruling into law.