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President Donald Trump reportedly will nominate federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, a choice LGBTQ rights groups are concerned could lead to a reduction in the rights enjoyed by LGBTQ Americans.
The Supreme Court has been historically been important for the advancement of LGBTQ rights, with its rulings giving gay and lesbian people marriage equality and recently ruling that queer and trans people are protected from employment discrimination under federal law.
Barrett is a Catholic and former Notre Dame law professor; she has not said how she would rule in cases about LGBTQ rights, but she has spoken and written extensively about her conservative view on reproduction and sexuality.
What we know about Barrett’s record on LGBTQ rights As Vox’s Ian Millhiser has explained, while Barrett has not served for long as a federal judge — and thus does not have as long a judicial record as many Supreme Court nominees have has — as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, “she frequently weighed in on many of the cultural fights that animate religious conservatism.
One of these is the issue of LGBTQ rights, which has been a long and evolving interest for conservatives, many of who have fought against policies such as trans people using the bathrooms that align with their gender identity and transition care for trans teens.
Some of Barrett’s most notable comments on the issue came during a lecture she gave at Jacksonville University ahead of the 2016 presidential election, while she was a professor at the University of Notre Dame.
Hodges, the landmark Supreme Court ruling which made marriage equality the law of the land, as well as suggesting the Title IX rights afforded to transgender people ought to be reviewed by lawmakers.
In her Jacksonville University lecture, Barrett similarly deployed language, suggesting an adversarial stance towards trans issues by misgendering transgender women in the calling them “physiological males.
In a statement Friday, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said “If she is nominated and confirmed, Coney Barrett would work to dismantle all that Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for during her extraordinary career.
Of concern to activists like David is that Bostock isn’t the only trans rights case that will hit the Supreme Court under the next justice’s tenure.
The court will be called upon to rule on several big legal battles have been brewing for years, over issues such as transgender student bathroom rights, or trans women participating in women’s sports.
That opinion argued that “preventing a state statute from taking effect is a judicial act of extraordinary gravity in our federal structure” — suggesting that Barrett would have prevented her court from blocking the anti-abortion law at the heart of that case if given the chance.