Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Alito split in two LGBT-related school cases

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From the Washington Blade: Bush's new Supreme Court pick split rulings in gay school cases Alito ruled for conservatives in one case, for effeminate student in 2nd By CHRIS CRAIN | Oct 31, 10:12 AM UPDATED: Oct 31, 7:00 PM President Bush's new pick for the U.S. Supreme Court — Judge Samuel Alito — wrote two opinions as a federal appeals court judge dealing with the harassment of gay students in school, likely giving both sides of the debate something to like and dislike in his rulings. Bush announced this morning that he has nominated Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Alito was nicknamed "Scalito" by some conservatives because his rulings remind them of opinions of another Italian-American, Justice Antonin Scalia. The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force was quick to condemn the selection of Alito as a bone to social conservatives. "President Bush capitulated to the howling from the extreme, evangelical right and threw them red meat in the form of [Alito]," said Matt Foreman, the Task Force's executive director, in a statement only a couple of hours after the announcement. "The country will now be put through a wrenching, divisive and damaging confirmation process. One more travesty inflicted on this nation by the president and his right wing allies." In 2000, Alito wrote an opinion on behalf of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals striking down a gay-inclusive "anti-harassment" policy adopted by a school district in State College, Pa., home to Penn State University. The policy had been challenged by a Christian conservative who said his children were compelled by their religion to criticize homosexuality as a sin. In 2004, Alito issued an opinion in Shore Regional High School vs. P.S., reversing a federal judge's ruling that required a student who had been severely bullied for being effeminate from attending a high school with the same students who had harassed him for years. Both opinions were written on behalf of unanimous three-judge panels of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia.The split between the two school rulings by Alito — one striking down a broadly worded anti-harassment policy and the other protecting a student subjected to severe anti-gay harassment — suggest that while Alito is a conservative judge, he is not afraid to use the court's power to remedy a situation he views as unjust. To read the full article click here


To see the Holy Spirit's very words regarding divisiveness, see The Christian Prophet blog: