When I first read this headline on the ABA Journal this morning, I became very excited:
Poll Finds 55% Would Support Openly Gay Justice
Gay Justice? How awesome! Justice is way too straight. Basic black letter laws and stuffy proceedings. It’d be far more exciting and visually interesting if Lady Justice was a little bit more… flamboyant. I’ve been to gay Halloween and it’s a lot more fun.
Sadly, my hopes for plastering pink triangles on courthouses were dashed when I actually clicked on the link. A Vanity Fair/CBS News poll found that 55% of Americans would support an openly gay Supreme Court justice, while 40% of those polled would oppose an openly gay SCOTUS nominee. That’s boring. All that shows is that 40% of poll respondents are raging homophobes. I’m pretty sure we didn’t need Vanity Fair to tell us that.
The only question is whether Obama will enrage the anti-gay people with his next SCOTUS nominee…
The WSJ Law Blog points out that Obama might soon have another opportunity to show the gay community that he doesn’t find them icky (notwithstanding the President’s cowardly position on gay marriage):
The issue is academic for now, but it might not be for long. President Obama may soon inherit another Supreme Court vacancy, if Justice John Paul Stevens, who will be 90 next month, decides to step down. Two candidates rumored to have been on his short list after David Souter stepped down last year, Stanford Law professor Pam Karlan and former Stanford Law Dean and current Quinn Emanuel name partner, Kathleen Sullivan, are openly gay.
Honestly, only a fool would think that we haven’t already had multiple gay Justices. Having one who is out would be a step forward, but gays have almost certainly been on the Court before.
Still, some on the Senate Judiciary committee can barely hide their bigotry:
The nomination of a gay man or woman to the High Court may not derail his or her candidacy, but would likely provide an extra hurdle. On the prospect of it, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), said last year that it made him “uneasy.”
What the hell does that mean, Jeff Sessions? You know what, it makes me “uneasy” that the prospect of a gay SCOTUS nominee makes you uneasy. And by “uneasy” I mean it makes me “want to vomit.” It’s 2010 in America, that’s got to mean it’s at least 1960 in Alabama. You rail all you want about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman and their divorce attorneys — but worrying about whether an openly gay individual can perform on the High Court is homophobia, plain and simple. Of course, that didn’t stop the San Francisco Chronicle from spilling some ink over federal judge Vaughn Walker’s sexuality.
An openly gay justice will almost certainly happen in my lifetime. I just hope it’s one appointed by a conservative President who comes out of the closet — Ricky Martin-style — after confirmation.