SHAHEEN INTRODUCES AMENDMENT TO BAR LGBT DISCRIMINATION IN JURY SELECTION

March 26, 2015

(WASHINGTON, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has introduced a budget amendment that would prevent discrimination against LGBT citizens during the federal jury selection process. The legislation, which was introduced as standalone legislation with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) earlier this year, would prohibit striking jurors in federal courts on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Every citizen has the right and responsibility to take part in our judicial system and sitting on a jury is a fundamental part of that process,” Shaheen said. “Jury selection should represent our country’s values of inclusion and acceptance, so discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is completely unacceptable.”

U.S. Code currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin and economic status. However, there is no federal prohibition on discriminating against jurors based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Shaheen’s amendment would right that wrong by extending those protections to LGBT potential jurors.