LGBTQ People Are Under Attack and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Gives Us Hope

| Reproaction

By: Kieran Mailman

In recent years, state-level attacks on LGBTQ rights – especially transgender rights – have escalated. Borrowing from the anti-abortion playbook, anti-trans activists have worked to alienate trans people from public life: from bathroom bills to exclusionary policies in organized athletics, anti-trans activists have attempted to force trans people into hiding. [1,2] Trans-exclusionary measures have even attempted to criminalize methods of care that have been proven to improve the health of trans people. [3] This dangerous legislation harms trans people of all ages, especially the Black trans women and girls who are already more likely to be the subject of violent attacks. [4]

Given this, it is more important than ever that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson – an extremely qualified judge with a progressive record and bipartisan support – be appointed as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

As Richard Saenz of Lambda Legal pointed out in his recent op-ed, Judge Jackson is intimately familiar with the criminal justice system – a system that disproportionately harms Black and brown people, including Black and brown LGBTQ people. Judge Jackson has seen first-hand how things such as laws that criminalize HIV or sex work harm marginalized communities; she has seen how our so-called “criminal justice system” fails us. As Saenz points out, Jackson’s presence on the Supreme Court would offer assurance that prejudice – including anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ prejudice – will be strongly condemned as a violation of our rights. [5]

Only within the last two years in the Bostock v. Clayton decision did we see Title VII of the Civil Rights Act applied to LGBTQ people. With the Supreme Court now skewing more conservative, even this bare minimum protection is called into question.

At a time when LGBTQ people are being attacked, it is crucial to have a voice on the court that understands the harms of discrimination and criminalization. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is more than qualified to be that voice.







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