In response to the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Nick Fish, president of American Atheists, released the following statement:
With today’s vote, the Senate elevated Christian privilege and ideological bias above equality under the law for decades to come. With this rushed, hypocritical process, the Senate has ignored the voice of the American people to install a Supreme Court Justice who is dangerously out of step with the views of the American people and openly hostile to our foundational constitutional principles.
More than three-quarters of Americans support keeping abortion safe and legal, and yet now our rights to reproductive freedom are in serious jeopardy. Barrett has called Roe “barbaric” and refused to answer whether states could subject patients seeking abortions to the death penalty.
As for LGBTQ rights, Justice Barrett also fails to represent the American people. 69% of Americans support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans. Yet Judge Barrett is closely associated with the anti-LGBTQ hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom, and served on the board of anti-LGBTQ private schools that barred admission to children of same-sex couples and told LGBTQ teachers that they weren’t welcome.
And, at a time when religious exemptions are not only undermining protections for LGBTQ Americans and those seeking access to abortion, birth control, and other health care services, the Senate has confirmed a nominee who believes that the First Amendment is a license for churches to ignore public health experts and infect communities with a highly communicable disease.
Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, and this rushed sham of a confirmation process, undermines the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Already, the Supreme Court has given wide latitude to religious employers who want to ignore nondiscrimination law, while forcing American taxpayers to fund these discriminatory groups. With Justice Barrett on the Court, attacks on the Establishment Clause will intensify, and the erosion of the Constitution’s core promise of equality under the law will accelerate.
To restore balance and legitimacy to the Court — rather than preserving the entrenched ideology of Christian nationalists — fundamental reform of the Supreme Court is long overdue.