There is a lot that could be said about the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday. We could talk about the lack of care for the original intent of the law. We could point to another loss for traditional values in our country. We could bemoan the Jurists’ arrogance at legislating from the bench.
The inclusion of “sexual orientation” in sexual discrimination is sad in and of itself, but that this slides us down the slippery slope into oligarchy is frightening.
The Washington Times reports
The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 8 to 3 in favor of plaintiff Kimberly Hively, an adjunct professor who claims she was denied full-time positions at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana for being a lesbian.
Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Diane Wood said the statute’s prohibition on “sex” discrimination also applies to sexual orientation.
“For many years, the courts of appeals of this country understood the prohibition against sex discrimination to exclude discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation,” Chief Judge Wood wrote. “The Supreme Court, however, has never spoken to that question. In this case, we have been asked to take a fresh look at our position in light of developments at the Supreme Court extending over two decades. We have done so, and we conclude today that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination.”
There can be no doubt that what these judges have done is to read their feelings and the trends of the day into their interpretation of this law. We cannot imagine that the legislators of 1964 would have ever passed this law while at the same time leaving intact the sodomy laws that were currently on every states’ law books.
And while this is clearly a misrepresentation of what the law was intended to accomplish, this is not the most alarming part of the whole event. That was pointed out to us by the dissenting judge.
The Times continues
Writing for the dissent against the full panel Tuesday, Judge Diane S. Sykes chided the majority’s “circumvention of the legislative process by which the people govern themselves.”
“The Constitution assigns the power to make and amend statutory law to the elected representatives of the people,” Judge Sykes wrote. “However welcome today’s decision might be as a policy matter, it comes at a great cost to representative self-government.”
So much for being a nation of laws when a panel of judges can rewrite the law.