Supreme Court, with Justice Barrett, to Hear Major LGBT Rights Case Day After Election

Supreme Court, with Justice Barrett, to Hear Major LGBT Rights Case Day After Election

November 3, 2020

The Supreme Court is set to hear a case on Wednesday concerning the rights of gay and lesbian Americans in a dispute that advocates are warning could pierce holes in the nation’s anti-discrimination laws.

Religious rights activists are pushing for the court to use the case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, to overturn a 30-year-old precedent that has for decades mediated the balance between freedom of conscience and the rights of minority groups.

There is good reason to suspect that the court, now with a 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed justices, may overturn it. Just last year, four of the court’s conservatives, Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, suggested they were open to doing so.

Speaking with CNBC, David Flugman, who has litigated high-profile civil rights cases, remarked, “[Barrett] clerked for Justice Scalia. Will she, in the first week or so of her time on the court, be running toward overturning a three-decade-old precedent written by her old boss?” 

Flugman said the tension between religious freedom and LGBT equality at the heart of the case is the “fundamental issue in the LGBT rights space right now.”

“The real world consequences of this could be really, really important to people,” he explained. “From denial of health care, to exclusion from schools, or refusing to serve people in restaurants or not accommodating them in bed and breakfasts.”

Read the full interview from CNBC.