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Judges are an LGBTQ issue

January 25, 2012

By April Carson, Deputy Director, Legal Progress

Every day, judges in courtrooms across the country decide cases that affect our lives. Courts decide issues such as whether under the law, our partners are entitled to health insurance, we can adopt, marry, be fired from our jobs or refused employment because of our gender identity and when, if ever, the law allows us to be treated differently than other Americans.

Federal judges who are deciding the trajectory of these important issues are becoming increasingly more conservative – hand selected by the religious right and extremists focused on reshaping the law. For years, conservatives have put a strong emphasis on who dons the robes in the federal court, understanding that a lifetime appointment can have just as important an impact as expensive legislation that takes years to pass.

Take for example the Affordable Care Act, advocates from across the progressive movement invested years and millions of dollars to get legislation to the President’s desk. Since the legislation has passed, 6 federal district court judges have ruled on its constitutionality and whether or not portions of it can even take effect. 3 of those judges ruled the legislation was unconstitutional and could not be implemented– I will let you guess who selected those jurists for the bench. No matter what the issue: adoption, marriage, equal pay or equality – the courts will continue to play a role in shaping the course of our lives. It is time for the LBGT community to have a say when it comes to who gets a lifetime appointment.

Going to Creating Change? Come hear what you can do to influence the make-up of the federal courts at our panel. Please join us for information on current judicial vacancies that can be filled with LBGTQ friendly judges and how you and your organization can get involved today to help influence the process. Our session will provide you with an overview of how federal judges are selected, where and how you can influence the process and why courts matter for the issues you care about. We will share recent nationwide polling done on the issue as well as talking points to make you a more effective advocate. No matter the issue, the courts will continue to make decisions that affect our lives – it’s time for you to weigh in and Stack the Deck in favor of Creating Change! Join us for “Stacking the Deck: Why Conservatives are starting to win in the courts, and what we can do about it” on Friday, Jan. at 10:45 a.m. in Blake, Level 2.

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