Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final wish was that her replacement not be confirmed until a new president was installed. Yet even as we continue to grieve her loss and pay our respects, President Trump has rushed forward with his announcement that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is his choice for the seat left vacant just one week ago. The 2020 presidential election is already underway, and once again, we find our democracy in peril and the integrity of our nation’s highest court in jeopardy.
For over four decades, the LGBT Bar Association of New York has been dedicated to promoting equality in the legal profession, advancing justice through its practice, and ensuring that the courts, at all levels, are fair and impartial.
We therefore strongly oppose the nomination and confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
In the coming weeks we will work to make clear that Judge Coney Barrett’s history of hostility to the equal dignity of LGBTQ people, reveals that she will use her judicial pen to strip away the hard-fought victories we have achieved and thwart all future progress for generations to come.
The threat is not hypothetical.
In 2015, as we were fighting for marriage equality, Judge Coney Barrett joined a letter where she publicly avowed views about marriage and family “founded on the insoluble commitment of a man and a woman.” She has been a guest speaker at the request of the anti-LGBT hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom. She has written that a judge does not have to follow precedent, if she thinks it was wrongly decided. And as we prepare to persuade the Justices of the Supreme Court that LGBTQ families deserve to be treated fairly by adoption agencies seeking the right to discriminate, Judge Coney Barrett’s writings reveal that she will use the First Amendment to blow a hole in our nation’s non-discrimination laws.
Justice Ginsburg’s legacy was her dedication to giving voice to the marginalized and applying the promise of “equality justice under law” to all. Judge Coney Barrett on the other hand, has a record that clearly demonstrates her firm view that LGBTQ people are second-class citizens. Her hostile approach to applying a cramped interpretation of the Constitution, based on its original meaning, is a grave threat to civil rights and access to justice.
We cannot afford to go back. LeGaL will push forward. Thank you for your membership, support and your dedication to the quest for equality and justice.