Judge Amy Coney Barrett is refusing to say if Obergefell, the law that found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry was properly decided. Amid questioning from Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, Barrett held fast, claiming she has an obligation to not share her legal beliefs.
"I'm asking your legal position judge," Senator Blumenthal told Judge Barrett. "Not your moral position, not a policy position, not a religious faith position, a legal position. Correctly decided? Obergefell v. Hodges."
"Senator Blumenthal, every time you asked me a question about whether a case was correctly decided or not, I cannot answer that question because I cannot suggest agreement or disagreement with precedents of the Supreme Court," Barrett insisted. "All of those precedents bind me now as a Seventh Circuit Judge, and were I to be confirmed, I would be responsible for applying the law of stare decisis to all of them."
Two conservative Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, on the first day of this year's Supreme Court term, had no problem revealing their legal opinions on Obergefell, announcing they believe it was wrongly decided. They called legalizing marriage for same-sex couples "a problem" that only the Court can "fix.”
"But your honor," Blumenthal continued, "think of how you would feel as a gay or lesbian American to hear that you can't answer whether the government can make it a crime for them to have that relationship. Whether the government can enable people who are happily married to continue that relationship. Think of how you would feel?"
"Well Senator you're implying that I'm poised to say that I want to cast a vote to overrule Obergefell and I assure you, I don't have any agenda and I don't, I'm not even expressing a view and disagreement of Obergefell, you're pushing me to try to violate the judicial canons of ethics and to offer advisory opinions and I won't do that.
Amy Coney Barrett refuses to answer @SenBlumenthal's question if Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex ma… https://t.co/XSeknPwm3F— The American Independent (@The American Independent)1602701800.0
Senator Cory Booker chastised Barrett on Tuesday over similar refusals.
"You seem to honor the precedents that are enough to protect discrimination against African Americans [and] interracial couples, but you stop on saying that unequivocally about ... religious discrimination."