Judge Amy Coney Barrett is now a confirmed Supreme Court Justice, a decision queer advocates believe could have devastating repercussions for LGBTQ equality.
The Senate voted in favor of confirming Barrett—an appeals court judge hastily nominated by President Donald Trump—to the Court late this Monday, October 26, according to The New York Times. Although Barrett’s confirmation wasn’t a surprise, groups like HRC, GLAAD, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) say having an ultra-conservative Justice like Barrett on the nation’s highest court endangers the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ Americans.
#BREAKING: The Senate has voted 52-48 to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
This illegitimate process is a perversion of democracy and was forced against the wishes of the American people.
Justice Barrett will sit in a stolen seat.
It's a sad day for this country. pic.twitter.com/0D3EWjj50v
— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) October 27, 2020
“Despite Amy Coney Barrett’s troubling anti-LGBTQ record and rhetoric, Senate Republicans rushed through the fastest Supreme Court confirmation process in modern history,” HRC president Alphonso David said in a statement. “This was a power grab, plain and simple, and voters must hold these Senators—and Donald Trump—accountable at the polls. The process was a sham, the hearings were fast-tracked, and once again, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump have chosen power over people.”
Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal, also weighed in, calling Monday “a dark day for our justice system and American democracy”:
The Supreme Court of the United States, the court of last resort for justice in our country, should not be up for a power grab, but that is exactly what happened today.
Amy Coney Barrett deeply alarmed us during her confirmation hearings when she refused to say whether she believed cases that are the backbone of the legal rights of LGBTQ people—such as Lambda Legal’s landmark case, Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized same-sex intimacy, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage—were correctly decided. We fear that all the progress we have made in recent years is now at risk.
Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed to the Supreme Court, endangering LGBTQ rights, access to health care, reproductive rights and more.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) October 27, 2020
As NewNowNext previously reported, Barrett was nominated by Trump to fill the vacancy on the Court left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died September 19. The rushed nature of her nomination aside, Barrett has a record littered with examples of anti-LGBTQ sentiment, including opposing marriage equality and speaking at an event for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a known anti-LGBTQ hate group.
Late last week, HRC also issued a formal letter opposing Barrett’s nomination. The letter was co-signed by 185 other LGBTQ advocacy groups.