Hilary Meyer, Esq.
Fair Courts Project Manager
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (now retired) wrote: “Judicial independence allows judges to make unpopular decisions. Federal judges in the United States have at times been called upon to stand firm against the will of the majority. For instance, the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which declared that separate educational facilities for children of different races are inherently unequal, provoked a firestorm of criticism in much of the country. The decision, however, was a crucial moment in the recognition of civil and political rights in the United States.”
We couldn’t agree with her more. Our mission at Lambda Legal is to fight for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people (LGBT) and people with HIV. We want judges whose philosophy is to uphold the Constitution, and rule with impartiality and fairness. Biased judges, like the one in Mississippi who publicly stated that “gays and lesbians should be put in some type of a mental institute,” are not impartial.
A new administration will soon take office, and there will be new federal judicial nominees. We are looking ahead to conflicts that may be decided by federal judges, such as the constitutionality of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or the free speech rights of LGBT students. Every American needs judges who will read the Constitution’s promises of equality, and make decisions without bias or fear of political unpopularity. In America we value the rights of individuals and those rights are guarded by our Constitution as well as an independent judiciary. That’s right for us and it’s right for America.
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