The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Amy
Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Senate confirmed Barrett with a
52-48 vote. Maine Senator Susan Collins was the only Republican to
break ranks with her party and join Democrats, who were united in
Barrett fills the vacancy left by
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month at the age of 87.
Ginsburg played a pivotal role in cases that struck down state laws
that criminalized gay sex (Lawrence), found same-sex couples
have a constitutional right to marry (Obergefell), and
expanded the definition of sex in federal law to include sexual
orientation and gender identity (Bostock).
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, criticized Monday's vote.
“Despite #AmyConeyBarrett's troubling
record, Senate Republicans rushed through the fastest #SCOTUS
confirmation process in modern history,” tweeted HRC Executive
Director Alphonso David. “This was a power grab by Trump &
these Senators – plain and simple. We must vote them out
During her confirmation hearing,
Barrett refused to say whether two groundbreaking LGBT rights cases –
Obergefell and Lawrence – were correctly decided,
though she did give her opinion on Brown, which struck down
state racial segregation laws in schools, and Loving, which
put an end to state bans on interracial marriage.
In discussing the cases, Barrett said
that she has never discriminated on the basis of “sexual
preference.” Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat, described the
term sexual preference as “offensive and outdated” language “used
by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a
choice.” Barrett later apologized for using the term.
LGBT law group Lambda Legal and the
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) also criticized Barrett's
confirmation to the Supreme Court.
“This is a dark day for our justice
system and American democracy,” Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings
said in a statement. “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.”
NCLR Executive Director Imani
Rupert-Gordon said in a statement: “Today's action by the United
States Senate is an affront to the American people and a threat to
the credibility and integrity of the Supreme Court. Rushing this
nomination through in the middle of a presidential election was
fundamentally wrong and a travesty of the process of appointing
Supreme Court justices. 60,000,000 Americans have already voted in
this election. The voters who are choosing the next President should
also be the ones to choose the future direction of the Supreme Court.
As a result of today's action, five of the nine justices on the Court
have been appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote. No
matter who is the winner on Election Day, Congress must explore
options for reforming the Court and protecting our democracy."
Barrett served as a trustee for three
years at a religiously affiliated private school that effectively
prohibited students with same-sex parents from admission, the AP
In a statement released Monday before
Barrett's confirmation, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis
called Barrett's impending confirmation “alarming for LGBTQ
”Barrett’s time at a school that
discriminated against LGBTQ families and hurt LGBTQ youth is
disturbing and should disqualify her from the Court. Her stated views
against marriage equality, rulings against access to abortion, and
her public criticism of the Affordable Care Act are out of step with
fair-minded Americans and threaten the progress our country has made
to become a stronger and more equitable home for all,” Ellis said.
“Her record against LGBTQ families and rights has no place in
American life, let alone the highest court in the land.”
Barrett was sworn in to the Supreme
Court at a White House ceremony Monday evening.