- The Nevada Supreme Court brought in Todd Brower, director of the Judicial Education Program at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, to teach a webinar on handling pronoun usage and gender identity in the courtroom.
- The July 2023 course taught judges to “recognize and consider using terminology, pronouns, and names to increase access for transgender and gender nonbinary people in the courthouse,” according to training materials obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- “It is not appropriate — and is in fact a violation of conscience rights — for any official court to take ideological positions on these issues and, through its influence, impose them on litigants, attorneys, and judges within their system,” Carrie Severino, president of JCN, a conservative legal advocacy group, told the DCNF.
The Nevada Supreme Court hosted a one-time course that teaches judges how to incorporate pronoun usage and an awareness of gender identity into the courtroom, according to training materials obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Todd Brower, director of the Judicial Education Program at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, taught a July 2023 course for Nevada judges titled, “Transgender And Gender Nonbinary People In The Nevada Courts: Practical Tools And Best Practical Tools And Best Practices For Nevada Judges.” The training featured data on sexual orientation in the state, a primer on gender terminology and a run-down on hypothetical scenarios involving transgender litigants who could appear in court, according to a slideshow obtained by the DCNF via a public records request. (RELATED: Court Enlisted ‘Diversity’ Activist To Train Judges On Preferred Pronouns, Gender Identity)
“This falls into a recent pattern of left-wing dark money groups attempting to co-opt official court structures to advance their woke agenda,” Carrie Severino, president of JCN, a conservative legal advocacy group, told the DCNF. “It is not appropriate — and is in fact a violation of conscience rights — for any official court to take ideological positions on these issues and, through its influence, impose them on litigants, attorneys, and judges within their system.”
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court of Nevada said that neither Brower, the Williams Institute nor the UCLA School of Law received compensation for the webinar.
While the training was not mandatory, Nevada district and municipal court judges are required by statute to take 13 hours annually of continuing legal education, including at least two hours in ethics, according to the requirements. This one-time training on LGBTQ issues awarded judges with 1.5 continuing education credits in ethics, according to the course description.
It is unclear how many judges took the training.
“LGBTQ persons, especially transgender and gender nonbinary people, are increasingly present in the Nevada courts as litigants, witnesses, and attorneys,” the course description states. “Indeed, according to CDC data, transgender people comprise .34% of Nevada adults 18 years of age and older, and 1.67% of Nevada youth 13-17, or 11,400 transgender persons.”
The course covers “the most recent demographic studies showing the characteristics of LGBTQ people in Nevada and nationally to identify the potential for those issues to appear in your courtroom.” It also teaches judges to “recognize and consider using terminology, pronouns, and names to increase access for transgender and gender nonbinary people in the courthouse.”
The Administrative Office of the Court’s Judicial Education Unit coordinates trainings that cover “a broad range of subjects, from specific substantive and procedural areas of the law, to law and literature, and management, communication, and professionalism,” according to the court’s website.
The training itself recommends not using gender-specific titles like “sir” or “ma’am.” It also suggests judges ask litigants for their pronouns on a sign-in sheet and use their own pronouns when introducing themselves.
The slideshow presents various scenarios involving a transgender litigant. In one situation, a “self-represented litigant with a feminine hairstyle and wearing a dress, high heels, and lipstick” is listed under the name Lawrence Thompson but asks to be called Laura Thompson.
“Assume you have decided and informed everyone that the person should be called Laura Thompson and referred to using female pronouns during the proceedings,” the presentation states. “However, opposing counsel calls this individual Lawrence and uses male pronouns. What, if anything, do you do?”
The Santa Cruz Superior Court in California offered a similar training for judges last year on gender identity in the courtroom, which Brower also spoke at. This training was put together by “DEI” speaker Tristan E.H. Higgins, who told the DCNF she has given this training and others to a number of legal organizations, as well as the San Diego courthouse.
Brower did not respond to a request for comment.
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