During a lawsuit between pharmaceutical companies about the price of HIV medications, one side struck a juror from the pool because he was gay. Stereotype much? Today a federal appeals court ruled the behavior inappropriate. Via BuzzFeed:
A federal appeals court Tuesday held that lawyers cannot exclude potential jurors from a jury based on their sexual orientation — a ruling whose underlying rationale could have broad implications outside of the case.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is subject to heightened scrutiny — a decision the court concluded has been made in action, though not in word, by the Supreme Court itself.
In describing the reason for applying the new standard, Judge Stephen Reinhardt examined the Supreme Court’s June decision in Edith Windsor’s case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. Although equal protection claims brought based on sexual orientation have previously been judged under the lowest level of review, called rational basis, the 9th Circuit held that a higher standard now applies.
Read more at BuzzFeed here about how the DOMA ruling contributed to the decision. Apparently I’m supposed to treat this as a victory, but it will be short-lived once lawyers hear my position on jury nullification.
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