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One response to “Openly gay man nominated to fed appeals court”

  1. John

    A hearty congratulations to Edward DuMont. His background seems to assure he’s qualified to adjudicate cases involving government contract claims, intellectual property, Indian tribes, and complicated tax refund litigation. Of course this very limited and narrowly circumscribed legal specialization also assures that (aside from cutting checks to failed activist groups like Equality California) he will be doing nothing to preserve LGBT rights from the bench. In this case his being openly gay is utterly irrelevant. Why should anyone care? Obama needs to be making LGBT appointments where they matter, where they can make a different to the community, instead of making token appointments that effectively muzzle dissent. When it comes to being a ‘sword and shield’ to protect our rights, Edward DuMont is now, for all practical purposes, taken out of circulation.

    However he is young and this may be a good proving ground for better things to come. In that light his professional representation in support of a religious group that successfully petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for the right to use public school facilities to host a family values series is rather troubling. In Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches School District, the Lamb’s Chapel evangelical church sought to show a series of family lectures by James Dobson on school property after school hours. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court’s decision to deny the church’s access to state (tax-funded) property claiming such use was permissible use because the films were not “church related.’ How any lecture on family values by the infamous James Dobson could not be church related escapes me, but the law is never that simple and the traditional “Lemon Test” itself provides a First Amendment loophole big enough to drive a truck through. “Mr. Jefferson! Build up this wall!” Moreover, all legal professionals understand that an attorney’s first ethical duty is ‘zealous advocacy’ for his client and not his personal agenda. During our careers most attorneys employed by law firms are often called upon to defend issues they find repugnant.

    Two things seem sure: by appointing Edward DuMont to narrowly circumscribed legal specialization, Obama stuck a token feather in his own cap and, more importantly, he cleverly decommissioned DuMont from any possibility of an advocacy role protecting the rights of his Community. He is effectively a ‘token’ gay safely appointed to a job where most certainly his being gay can not be of any relevance to us. Thanks anyway.

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