Lesbian on Supreme Court short-list
A prominent constitutional scholar who is also a lesbian is reportedly on the short list to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who is stepping down after nearly two decades on the high court.
The name game started as soon as word got out Thursday night that Justice Souter had decided to step down in June.
One name being mentioned as a possible replacement for Souter is Stanford Law School professor Kathleen Sullivan, widely considered one of America’s top constitutional scholars.
Sullivan, an out lesbian, has filed briefs in some of the most important LGBT rights cases to reach the high court.
New York Law School professor Arthur Leonard says no matter who President Obama chooses, it probably won’t be a game changer for gay rights:
Leonard: “I think it’s likely to be a wash, for the simple reason that he has become a supporter of gay rights on the court in the context in which it comes up before the court, in equal protection, due process, First Amendment issues, and I think it is likely that whoever President Obama picks will have very similar views.”
Justice Souter was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1990 by the first President Bush.
He’d been recommended by Republicans in his home state of New Hampshire as a safe, conservative choice … but soon became a reliable vote for gay rights:
Leonard: ” His record on LGBT rights has been exemplary. He has ultimately voted with the gay rights majority in Romer vs. Evans in 1996, in the gay rights majority in Lawrence vs. Texas in 2003, and he even wrote a pro-gay dissenting opinion in Boy Scouts of America versus Dale in 2000.”
Souter, 69 years old, is a lifelong bachelor, but has never publicly addressed the speculation he might be gay.
— Barbara Raab