“Equal treatment is a bedrock principle of our judicial system."
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.
In 2014, 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.
Congresswoman Davis represents the 53rd Congressional District, which includes central San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of El Cajon and Chula Vista. Davis serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, serving as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. She is also a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.