In the US, the Human Rights Campaign has responded to reports that Amy Coney Barrett will be Trump’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court.
“The last four years have been an assault on the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people across the country, led by Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell’s prioritization of power over people,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
“While people are suffering across the country, instead of offering aid, Trump and McConnell are rushing through a Supreme Court justice – a justice who could deal a fatal blow to people maintaining their basic health care in the middle of a pandemic. The President has dramatically altered the judiciary to try to dismantle hard-fought rights and progress secured over decades – LGBTQ rights, voting rights, reproductive rights and more. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell has sycophantically installed Trump’s extreme judicial nominees and is now seeking to push the balance of the Supreme Court even further to the fringes. If she is nominated and confirmed, Coney Barrett would work to dismantle all that Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for during her extraordinary career. An appointment of this magnitude must be made by the president inaugurated in January. The Human Rights Campaign fervently opposes Coney Barrett’s nomination, and this sham process.”
Barrett currently serves as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and earlier in her career was a law clerk and protégé to Antonin Scalia, one of the most steadfast opponents of LGBTQ rights.
Coney 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.
Coney 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 criticised 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 organisations 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 marginalised, victimised, 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.
The HRC has now launched a ‘We Dissent’ campaign, with an ask to members and supporters to sign a pledge to ‘dissent’ to this process and to Coney Barrett.