Rep. Susan Davis Introduces Bill to Stop LGBT Discrimination for Jury Service
U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 864) to prohibit a person from being removed from a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“Serving on a jury is one of America’s most cherished civic duties,” said Rep. Davis. “It is unjust to exclude a particular group of people from participating in civil society because of whom they love. The federal government already prohibits juror discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and economic status. As we pursue greater equality for all Americans, I believe LGBT Americans should also be free from juror discrimination.”
“Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity has no place in our country,” Senator Shaheen said. “Every citizen has the right and responsibility to sit on a jury and participate in the judicial process, and the jury selection process should represent our country’s values of inclusion and acceptance.”
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.
California law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Davis believes it is time to bring this common sense protection to LGBT jurors nationwide.