Under questioning from Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Wednesday, SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett wouldn’t say whether she thought the marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges was correctly decided. Earlier this month Justices Thomas and Alito suggested the case must be overturned to protect religious freedom.
“I’m asking your legal position judge. 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 ask 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. 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.”
“But your honor. 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.”