An appellate panel hears arguments in an assault case against a gay inmate in which a lesbian was dismissed during jury selection. Defense lawyers want the panel to consider constitutional issues.
Trial lawyers should be barred from dismissing potential jurors because of their sexual orientation, defense attorneys argued Thursday in a case that, if successful, could extend constitutional protection from discrimination to homosexuality along with race, creed and gender.
The arguments made to a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena arose from a prosecutor's decision last year to strike a lesbian from the jury weighing assault charges brought against a gay Nigerian inmate at the federal lockup in Los Angeles.
The Obama administration has called for "heightened scrutiny" of laws and practices that target gays, and the government has lately expressed its concern about the constitutionality of differing treatment of spouses in same-sex marriages.
Complete article at LA Times : http://lat.ms/nHyE5c