By nominating Amy Coney Barrett to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, Donald Trump has put forward a woman who has a long history of actively opposing basic civil rights for the LGBTQ community and questioning rights that the vast majority of legal scholars consider settled law.
As it became apparent she was one of the frontrunners for the nomination, Barrett has received a lot of attention because it’s been reported that she’s part of an extremely right wing christian organization called People of Praise. The groups mandates that women be submissive to men and refers to them as “handmaids.” Plus, all members of the organization are required to consult with the organization’s spiritual leaders (referred to as “heads”) on any decision they make … even if it’s small financial decisions or other personal matters. As someone who actively participates in this practice, it’s hard to believe we should trust her when she says she won’t let her faith influence her judicial decisions.
In fact, even a quick glance at her record suggests she does take the legal stances of the extreme right that are promoted by People of Praise.
At an event hosted by the Public Policy Institute at Jacksonville University, for instance, she spoke out against the Court’s ruling in Obergefell vs Hodges that declared laws banning same sex marriage unconstitutional. In fact, she went as far as saying the Supreme Court shouldn’t have even been playing a role in deciding the case and that marriage equality was an issue that should have been decided by the individual states.
Barrett’s argument, however, clearly ignored how the Republicans had jammed the Defense of Marriage Act during the 1990’s which made marriage equality a federal issue. Plus, there’s the plain and simple fact that the Supreme Court is there specifically to make decisions on whether or not laws are constitutional. And in the Obergefell case, the Court decided a ban on same sex marriage violated the basic rights of LGBTQ Americans.
She also has come out and said that Title IX protections shouldn’t extend to transgender people. Considering how many people being considered for a seat on the Supreme Court often try to avoid publicly taking stances on issues that might come before the court, this makes it perfectly clear she’s going out of her way to say she doesn’t believe trans people should have basic civil rights. On top of that, she refuses to even show common decency as she actively misgenders transgender people and insists on calling trans women “physiological males” while she advocates against them having basic civil rights.
When you considering how Trump is taking funding away from schools that support transgender students, wants healthcare companies to be allowed to deny life saving medical coverage to trans people, put out regulations saying trans people shouldn’t be allowed to use services at homeless shelters, and so much more, there’s a strong possibility that the Supreme Court will be hearing cases that impact transgender people. And Barrett has said she doesn’t believe they should have their rights protected.
As Trump is trying to ram Barrett’s nomination through before the election, it’s worth noting that the Court is currently scheduled to hear the Fulton v The City of Philadelphia on the day after the election. This case is about whether or not taxpayer funded organizations can discriminate against the LGBTQ community. If anti-LGBTQ people like Barrett have their way, this case could have an extremely negative impact on Americans experiencing homelessness, veteran seeking services they earned by serving our country, youth who were kicked out of their homes for being gay, or those in need of emergency shelter after events like hurricanes or wildfires.
In other words, the Republican controlled Senate refused to even hold hearings on Merrick Garland’s nomination even though he’s a well respected moderate because Mitch McConnell didn’t like the president he was nominated by. But Trump and McConnell are now trying to ram through a nomination in record speed who’s a member of the extreme right and has a record that suggests she’ll actively work to erode the basic civil rights of the LGBTQ community.