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Joined: 02/17/2003 Posts: 20673
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North Carolina

So we are confronted with North Carolina legislators virtually in secret with the full purpose of avoiding any public scrutiny or comment proposing and passing, in a one day special session, a law that prohibits any local city, county or other governmental institution from passing laws to protect gays from discrimination in employment. Under the statute, employees in North Carolina can now be fired from their jobs - by a private or government employer for being gay, can be turned away at hotel chains for being gay, and even forced to show their genitals to a police officer when using the bathroom if the cop thinks they might be transgender.

There are many problems here:

Does the law pass constitutional muster? It should not - but a door is open to permit judges to pretend nothing wrong is happening. The law is cleverly drafted - it states what groups in North Carolina are protected against discrimination, and preempts the rights of cities to extend discrimination protection to any other class. By not mentioning LGBT, the state claims that this is not an anti gay agenda. In doing this, it seeks to avoid the ruling of the Supreme Court in Evans v Romer that held a state laws affirmatively outlawing gay anti discrimination statutes and ordinances violated GLBT constitutional rights. There is Supreme Court held the law was unconstitutional because it, on its face, targeted gays.

Time and again, Republican led legislatures pass laws with the plain intent of furthering a constitutionally impermissible agenda, but interposing a cloak of imaginary neutrality. They then insist that because the law does not directly state an intent to interfere with constitutional rights, it must be upheld unless there is absolutely no rational basis for the law. And in applying this rational basis test, they argue that that the court goes beyond its role when examining the legislatures purpose in passing the legislation, and the legislation must stand irrespective of its legality. Examples include the multiple efforts in many many Republican states to limit the right to vote, the regulation of abortion clinics out of existence and now this anti GBLT legislation. The fifth circuit in the abortion facilities decision, for example, stated that the law midst be withheld, and the clear motives to deny women access to constitutional rights must be disregarded, if there was ANY possible explanation for the legislatures action that was arguably unresolved to denying the right to abortion.

The same reasoning has been applied in many of the anti voting bills passed - which bills exploded on the scene when the Supreme Court substituted its judgement for the judgement of Congress which after thousands of pages of testimony decided that voter protections were still required. (The contrast of the Supreme Court refusing to honor a legislature's EXTREMELY well documented purposes for adopting the voting rights act - and characterizing those purposes as a mere front - while permitting lower courts to blindly accept and even make up reasons to uphold legislation effectively denying constitutional rights- is another example of the extreme judicial activism of Scalia's courts.)

If this reasoning continues, it means that our courts are no longer halls of Justice. They are no longer the defenders of our freedoms. They become the enablers of legislators who in fact, but not in word, seek to abscond with constitutional protections.

It is a shameful tact - the smoke filled room now exists in a dance between Republican appointed judges and legislatures who believe Employer's and restaurants should do as they wish with gays.

the only hope for justice? I googled to see if a boycott movement had started. Before I finished typing boycott - Google anticipated that I would enter North Carolina.

A lot of people are pissed.

[Post edited by cswilliam at 03/26/2016 11:05AM]

Posted: 03/26/2016 at 09:51AM


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North Carolina -- cswilliam 03/26/2016 09:51AM