Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Trump nominates Ginsburg successor, LGBTQs react
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

This article shared 1956 times since Sat Sep 26, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

President Trump announced Sept. 26 his nominee to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and, as expected, she is a jurist LGBT groups are expected to vehemently oppose.

In a crowded outdoor event at the White House, Trump said his nominee, federal appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, would receive a "very quick" confirmation.

Does this spell doom for existing protections for LGBTQ people under the law? Does it close the door to the Supreme Court for any future LGBTQ plaintiffs seeking their rights under the constitution? LGBTQ legal experts are both deeply concerned and somewhat confident.

Barrett comes to the nomination after serving just two years the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, where she did not weigh in on any LGBTQ-related cases. However, in her years prior to that, as a professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Law, she signed onto a letter from Catholic Women supporting the church's views on various issues, including that "marriage and family [are] founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman."

During her 2017 confirmation process, one senator asked Barrett, via written questionnaire, how she could assure members of the LGBTQ community that she is committed to rendering decisions impartially and without bias or prejudice?

Barrett responded: "I do not think it lawful for a judge to impose personal opinions, from whatever source they derive, upon the law. If confirmed, I will apply the law faithfully and impartially in accordance with the judicial oath."

"Do you agree that the church's view regarding marriage as a union between a man and a woman is irrelevant to the legal question of the right of same-sex couples to marry?" asked U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.Is.) in the questionnaire.

Barrett responded with one word: "Yes."

She then repeatedly stated that several important LGBTQ-related decisions at the Supreme Court were "binding precedent that I will faithfully follow if confirmed." They included Obergefell v. Hodges, U.S. v. Windsor, and Lawrence v. Texas.

LGBTQ groups opposed Barrett's nomination then. They said her views on civil-rights issues were "fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law."

In a letter to then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, 27 national and state LGBT groups said in 2017 that they were concerned that Barrett's "religiously-infused moral beliefs would inform her judicial decision-making" on issues of specific interest to LGBT people. And they expressed alarm that Barrett had delivered a paid speech to the "most extreme anti-LGBT legal organization in the United States" (the Alliance Defending Freedom).

In reaction to news that Trump would nominate Barrett to U.S. Supreme Court, Lambda Legal issued a statement, saying, "Barrett will unleash a Supreme Court majority that is hostile to all of our basic civil rights, and the impact will be felt for decades."

In the coming U.S. Supreme Court session, the court is set to hear Fulton v. Philadelphia, a case in which a Catholic adoption service wants the court to declare that it has a First Amendment right to violate a Philadelphia law against sexual orientation discrimination. And a Virginia school district is expected to appeal its loss in a case that tests whether Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education—prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

There is some optimism still around the Title IX case. That's because, just last June, a six-to-three majority of the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act—which prohibits job discrimination on the basis of sex—also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. That ruling, Bostock v. Clayton County, is expected to serve as precedent for the Title IX litigation, too.

While Ginsburg is gone now from that Bostock majority, Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the majority opinion, and Justice Neil Gorsuch, who authored it, are still there.

And "because Justice Gorsuch's opinion for the Court was so relentlessly textual," said Stanford University Professor Pamela Karlan, who successfully argued the case for the gay employee in Bostock, "I don't see the Court coming out the other way on Title IX's coverage."

Jon Davidson, former legal director for Lambda Legal and current chief counsel for Freedom for All Americans, agrees.

"That majority [in Bostock] also should agree that other federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination [including laws barring sex discrimination in education, housing, and credit] encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity because the Supreme Court's decision [in Bostock] did not rest on anything unique to the federal employment nondiscrimination, but rather on the correct conclusion that, as a general matter, one cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity without discriminating based on sex."

But Both Karlan and Davidson expressed concern for what the Supreme Court didn't rule on last session: accommodating religious employers, such as the one in the Philadelphia case, set for oral argument Wed., Nov. 4.

"The outcome could have broad implications for the application of nondiscrimination laws and government policies around the country," said Davidson.

Davidson said he doesn't think existing marriages of same-sex couples are at risk.

"Those who married same-sex partners after the Obergefell decision did so in compliance with the law at the time and have strong due process rights in not having those lawful marriages dissolved against their will," said Davidson. "Whether a new justice will respect the precedent of Obergefell going forward, however, is of course of concern."

But Jenny Pizer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, noted that, even with the marriage ruling in favor of same-sex couples, "we still have had to continue fighting for family equality for LGBTQ people and their children."

"For example, we are in court now fighting for two married same-sex couples whose daughters are being denied citizenship by the Trump administration even though the law is explicit that their American citizen parents' being married entitles them to citizenship," said Pizer.

And Barrett, said Pizer, "has been outspoken in her belief that same-sex couples do not have the same fundamental constitutional right to marry that different-sex couples have, and that the marriages of same-sex couples do not deserve legal respect."

Barrett also wrote a law review article arguing that, while all Supreme Court decisions serve as precedent for lower court decisions and subsequent Supreme Court decisions, some are "super precedents" and others are more susceptible to change. Barrett's super-precedent theory, said Pizer, "seems designed to create room for reconsidering and reversing precedents that justices do not consider 'super'."

Barrett is Trump's third opportunity to select a Supreme Court justice. He previously nominated, and the Senate confirmed, two other federal appeals court judges to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Gorsuch's nomination was marred by the controversy that ensued when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to give consideration to then-President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, even though Obama still had 11 months to go in his second term. McConnell left the seat open until after the 2016 presidential election and, because Trump won that election, the Republican president was given the opportunity to appoint the seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

Kavanaugh's confirmation was marred by controversy surrounding accusations that emerged following his nomination that he had sexually assaulted women. He denied those accusations, and the Republican-controlled Senate approved his nomination.

The Senate approved Gorsuch's nomination by a vote of 54 to 45; it approved Kavanaugh 50-48.

Barrett's nomination also begins in controversy: While McConnell claimed he couldn't advance President Obama's nominee because it was a presidential election year, he has promised to rush through Barrett's nomination even though this, too, is a presidential election year.

McConnell has made clear he has to votes to confirm the nominee and that he intends to rush through that confirmation process ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

President Trump said Saturday that Barrett "will defend the sacred principle of equal justice for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed."

Barrett professed "love" for the United States Constitution and said she is "mindful" of the legacy of Justice Ginsburg, whose seat she has been nominated to fill. Ginsburg died at age 87 on Sept. 18, following a long struggle with cancer.

Barrett noted that Ginsburg was good friends with Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom Barrett clerked, despite the fact that Ginsburg was one of the court's most liberal jurists and Scalia one of its most conservative.

©2020 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

This article shared 1956 times since Sat Sep 26, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Seth G.: Finding out what unites, divides while biking across America
Seth G. (actual name: Seth Gottesdiener) is on a journey—and a mission. The fitness professional/social-justice activist—seen as a leader in Los Angeles' LGBTQ community—is biking from L.A. to Washington, D.C. ...

Gay News

Pritzker administration grants $94M to Illinois businesses, communities
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Governor JB Pritzker today joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to announce the release of $94 million in emergency relief funds for communities and small businesses ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois' virtual gala on Feb. 6
Equality Illinois will hold its 30th-anniversary gala virtually on Feb. 6, 2021. Things will kick off with a Champion Happy Hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. Honorees will include National Center ...

Gay News

Jane Fonda, Hillary Clinton attend Personal PAC's virtual luncheon
Actor/Activist Jane Fonda, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Governor JB Pritzker were among those who took place in Personal PAC's Oct. 21 virtual luncheon. The reproductive-rights organization's principal ...

Gay News

Talkin' Tech: Trump campaign website hacked and defaced
On Oct. 27, 2020 shortly before 6 p.m. central time, Donald Trump's campaign website,, was hacked. The hackers left a message claiming they had proof the Trump administration was involved the origin of the Corona Virus ...

Gay News

COVID-19 restriction measures for Chicago start Oct. 30
Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 11—the City of Chicago—beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. ...

Gay News

Talkin' Tech: Election technology; Pitfalls and triumphs explained
It is election season 2020 and a lot of false information is circling the recent news (and fake news) regarding your vote. The 2016 elections showed a lot of technology pitfalls when it came to foreign ...

Gay News

Live election night tracking to watch for 310 Victory Fund endorsed candidates
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund shared eight LGBTQ Election Night stories to watch and announced it will live track results for its 310 LGBTQ endorsed candidates on Election Night. Victory Fund will provide live ...

Gay News

Same-sex parents are 7X more likely to raise adopted, foster children
--From a Williams Institute press release - A summary of data on same-sex parenting to inform reporting on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia On Nov. 5, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The case will ...

Gay News

Justice Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to U.S. Supreme Court, groups respond
--From press releases - NCLR Statement on Rushed Confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to U.S. Supreme Court: SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, the United States Senate voted along party lines to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime appointment ...

Gay News

U.S. Senate confirms Coney Barrett to Supreme Court
The U.S. Senate voted Oct. 26 to confirm the nomination of right-wing federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. The vote was 52 to 48, with only one Republican voting against confirmation. ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage support, GLSEN, LGBTQ voting campaigns
Seventy percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to the 11th annual American Values Survey—the highest percentage recorded by a major national poll, NBC News reported. The results found just 28 percent of respondents oppose the ...

Gay News

Undocumented LGBTQ+ activists speak on importance of voting
--From a press release - Los Angeles, CA. - Queer and undocumented filmmaker Armando Ibañez is releasing the videos of 9 undocumented LGTQ+ activists speaking on the importance of the 2020 elections to undocumented communities as part of the #VotaJota digital ...

Gay News

LGBTQAs plan "Get Out The Vote" event for Michigan candidate
--From a press release - Chicago, IL — Members of Chicagoland's LGBTQ+ Allies community have organized a COVID-19 responsible day of "Get Out The Vote" (GOTV) canvassing in Southwest Michigan's Berrien County on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020 to turn out ...

Gay News

Lightfoot imposes curfew on city, cracks down on bars
In light of a spike of coronavirus infections in the city, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot followed through Oct. 22 by imposing a 10 p.m. curfew on all nonessential city businesses, The Chicago Tribune reported. In addition, ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs     
Privacy Policy      Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.