Scalia’s Mirror Image: Human Rights Campaign Releases Report on Amy Coney Barrett

by Nick Morrow

Today, the Human Rights Campaign released a 9-page report detailing the troubling judicial approach and philosophy of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett was nominated to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for LGBTQ equality. The report details Barrett’s history as a judge and past statements and how they are likely to shape her opinions as a potential Supreme Court Justice. Tellingly, Barrett says that the late, anti-equality Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s “judicial philosophy is mine.”

“With such little daylight between Justice Scalia and Amy Coney Barrett, every American should be concerned by this nomination and its implications on the progress of equality for LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Justice Scalia ruled the wrong way on virtually every major Supreme Court case dealing with issues of LGBTQ equality, from Lawrence to Obergefell. This upcoming term and beyond, we expect crucial cases about the future of LGBTQ rights to appear before the Court. Amy Coney Barrett poses a clear threat to any progress we can expect to see from the Court and her record shows she will take every opportunity to oppose us and scale back our rights. We vigorously oppose her nomination.”

To read the full report on Amy Coney Barrett, click here.

Barrett has demonstrated hostility toward LGBTQ rights in her words and rulings. She defended the Supreme Court’s dissenters on the landmark marriage equality case of Obergefell v. Hodges, questioning the role of the court in deciding the case. She said Title IX protections do not extend to transgender Americans, claiming it’s a “strain on the text” to reach that interpretation. She misgendered transgender people, referring to a transgender women as “physiological males,” while casting doubt on transgender rights. Barrett has also consistently demonstrated opposition to reproductive rights, calling Roe v. Wade an “erroneous decision.” She also refused to rehear a racial segregation case, raising significant concerns about her approach to Civil Rights law.

She has criticized the ruling which upheld the Affordable Care Act—which has helped millions attain quality, affordable healthcare—and expressed opinions that suggest she would strike down the law. Days after the election, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an argument in a case that could undermine this transformative piece of legislation, and with it the healthcare security of tens of millions of people, including a disproportionate number of LGBTQ people.

The day after Election Day, the Court will hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which considers whether governments must allow taxpayer-funded organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people when providing critical services. A ruling hostile to equality in this case could have staggering consequences for American social safety net programs including services for veterans, people experiencing homelessness, runaway youth, refugees, and those needing emergency shelters and services.

Her hostility towards many of society’s most marginalized, victimized and vulnerable groups raises serious concerns about her ability to be impartial and fairly consider the rights of all who come before the Court, including LGBTQ people; therefore, the Human Rights Campaign opposes her nomination in the strongest terms and will work steadfastly against it.

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