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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | February 19, 2003

Estrada today, Bybee tomorrow

The next judicial nominee to get the Estrada treatment should be Jay Bybee, states-rights fundamentalist and bigot extraordinaire. Here's analysis by the Human Rights Campaign. And here's analysis by the People for the American Way.

Among other things, Bybee has

  • advocated the repeal of the 17th Amendment allowing the "folly" of direct election of Senators;

  • Filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing Congress didn't have the power to enact the Violence Against Women Act;

  • Argues that the courts do not have the power to enforce the First Amendment on the states (in effect, applying it only to the federal government); and

  • Defended Bob Jones tax-exempt status despite its racist policies -- despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 to revoke it.
And, there's the final issue of his homophobia:
In a 1997 law review article, Bybee, then a professor, offered an extremely troubling view of the landmark equal protection case, Romer v. Evans. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that Amendment 2 in Colorado was unconstitutional and said that the amendment was not rationally related to a legitimate purpose. Amendment 2 sought to ban any municipality in Colorado from enacting laws that would protect gay people from discrimination.

In the article criticizing the Amendment 2 decision, Bybee questioned the "continuing validity" of Romer and characterized sexual orientation-inclusive civil rights laws as nothing more than government-sponsored "preferences" for "homosexuals."

"Bybee's characterization of civil rights laws as 'preferences' indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the law and an antipathy toward laws that protect the GLBT community from discrimination," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.

Posted February 19, 2003 08:32 AM | Comments (26)


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