October 08, 2020

Feinstein: A Barrett Supreme Court Would Erase LGBT Gains

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on what’s at stake for LGBT rights if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court:

            “In recent years we’ve seen unprecedented gains in the recognition of Constitutionally protected rights for the LGBT community, thanks largely to the Supreme Court. Five years ago, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the court found that the Constitution protects the right to marriage equality. And just four months ago, the court confirmed that Title VII’s protection against employment discrimination includes LGBT workers.

            “But, this progress is in jeopardy if Republicans are successful in rushing through the confirmation of a conservative justice.

            “Judge Barrett has argued the Supreme Court overreached in recognizing marriage equality and said the fate of that ruling is an open question. She’s also argued that Title IX protections, the cornerstone of equality in our education system, shouldn’t apply to transgender students.

            “Just this week, Justices Thomas and Alito all but called for Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark ruling that made marriage equality the law of the land, to be overturned. Make no mistake, Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court is a threat to LGBT Americans.”

Background:

  • Amy Coney Barrett defended the dissenters Obergefell v. Hodges and argued the court had overreached, saying:
  • “[Chief Justice Roberts, in his dissent,] said, those who want same-sex marriage, you have every right to lobby in state legislatures to make that happen, but the dissent’s view was that it wasn’t for the court to decide...So I think Obergefell, and what we’re talking about for the future of the court, it’s really a who decides question.”
  • Barrett also argued that saying Title IX covers transgender individuals was, “a strain” on the text of the statute.
  • Barrett has been paid thousands of dollars to speak at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a virulently anti-LGBT organization that supports legal challenges to LGBT rights and has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Judge Barrett said that Justice Scalia’s judicial philosophy is hers. Justice Scalia was a strong opponent of LGBT rights and dissented in every major LGBT rights case while he was on the bench.

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