How Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court could affect LGBTQ rights

By Katelyn Burns Updated Sep 26, 2020, 5:47pm EDT

She once questioned the Court’s landmark ruling on marriage equality.

President Donald Trump nominated federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court Saturday, a choice LGBTQ rights groups are concerned could lead to a reduction in the rights of LGBTQ Americans.

The Supreme Court has historically been important for the advancement of LGBTQ rights, with its rulings giving gay and lesbian people marriage equality and, recently, protecting queer and trans people from employment discrimination under federal law.

And there are a number of important cases soon to come before the Court; for example, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia is set to be heard the day after Election Day. That case, in which a religious adoption agency is seeking the right to turn away LGBTQ couples, will determine whether taxpayer-funded organizations are allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Senate Republicans have already promised a speedy confirmation process to install Trump’s nominee before the election, suggesting Barrett will soon be on the Supreme Court.

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.

And these past remarks have some of her critics concerned that she will swing the balance of the Court toward a more conservative agenda on issues of LGBTQ rights.