Kamala Harris: Same-sex marriage is at risk if Amy Coney Barrett joins US Supreme Court
Democratic vice president nominee Kamala Harris has warned that marriage equality in the US will be in jeopardy if Amy Coney Barrett joins the Supreme Court.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding hearings on whether Barrett should be confirmed to the role. President Donald Trump nominated her on 26 September 2020.
If confirmed, the right-wing judge will replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg who died on 18 September. Justice Ginsberg made history by advancing the rights of women, workers, LGBT+ Americans and others.
However Joe Biden’s running mate, Harris, warned those rights were now at risk. She said Trump had deliberately nominated Barrett to undo Ginsberg’s legacy.
Addressing the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings, Harris focused much of her speech on the threat to the Affordable Care Act.
But the former attorney and long-term LGBT+ ally also noted the risk to Americans’ rights.
Harris specifically cited Supreme Court decisions such as Loving v Virginia – which allowed interracial marriage – and Obergefell v Hodges – which made same-sex marriage legal.
She said the court’s decisions ‘recognized that love is love and that marriage equality is the law of the land’.
Already two other conservative judges on the Supreme Court – Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas – have said they would like to revisit the case that made same-sex marriage legal across the US in 2015.
Replacing Ginsberg with Barrett would make striking down Obergefell v Hodges far easier.
‘Equal justice under law is at stake’
Meanwhile Harris highlighted the threat to the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court is due to hear a case on whether it should strike down the act on 10 November. She said that is why the Republicans are rushing to get their candidate onto the court.
Harris told the committee:
‘The Republicans finally realized the Affordable Care Act is too popular to repeal in Congress. So now they are trying to bypass the will of the voters and have the Supreme Court do their dirty work.’
However, she warned Barrett would do even more damage:
‘Of course there is more at stake. Throughout our history, Americans have brought cases to the United States Supreme Court in our ongoing fight for civil rights, human rights and equal justice.
‘The United States Supreme Court is often the last refuge for equal justice where our constitutional rights are being violated
‘Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg devoted her life to fight for equal justice and she defended the constitution.
‘She advocated for human rights and equality. She stood up for the rights of women, she protected workers, she fought for the rights of consumers against big corporations, she supported LGBTQ rights and she did so much more.
‘But now her legacy, and the rights she fought so hard to protect, are in jeopardy. By replacing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with someone who will undo her legacy, President Trump is attempting to roll back Americans’ rights for decades to come.
‘Every American must understand that, with this nomination, equal justice under law is at stake.
‘Our voting rights are at stake. Workers’ rights are at stake. Consumer rights are at stake. The right to a safe and legal abortion is at stake. And holding corporations accountable is at stake. And again there is so much more.’
Wait until after the election
National polls now put former Vice President Joe Biden and Harris as favorites to win the election on 3 November.
On average the polls put Biden on 51.7% and Trump on 41.9%. However, the race is still tight in key swing states that could decide the outcome of the election.
Like other Democrats, Harris argued the Senate should wait to confirm a new Supreme Court justice ‘until after Americans decide who they want in the White House’.
Moreover, she said they should be prioritizing relief for Americans struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, rather than rushing to add Barrett to the court.
Published on GayStarNews Read the original article
Author: Tris Reid-Smith