Congressman Lamar Smith doesn’t think LGBT people should be allowed to serve on juries

Lamar Smith

Anti-gay Texas Republican Congressman Lamar Smith is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which is reviewing a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for jurors.

Attorneys are not prohibited from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity during jury selection by federal courts. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to take a position last year on whether Supreme Court rulings that prohibit removal based on race or sex should include sexual orientation.

A spokesman for Smith told the Colorado Independent that he has “no plans to move the bill at this time.”

The bill was introduced last month by Rep. Steve Rothman, D- New Jersey, and is co-sponsored by Rep. Susan Davis, D-California, and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat from the District of Columbia.

But Smith’s opposition to the bill means it is unlikely to get a hearing.

—  Anna Waugh

DADT update: Pelosi says she believes 'votes are there' for DADT repeal in House

Roll Call is reporting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the “votes are there” to pass an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that would repeal “don’t ask don’t tell.” The House will debate the Defense Authorization Act, as well as the amendment, this afternoon. You can watch the proceedings live by going here.

—  John Wright