Amy Coney Barrett pays tribute to ‘homophobe’ mentor as Donald Trump announces Supreme Court nomination

Amy Coney Barrett

Amy Coney Barrett paid tribute to her mentor, “homophobe” and former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, after Donald Trump formally announced that she would be his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

On Saturday (September 26) Donald Trump confirmed that his nominee for the US Supreme Court would be staunchly anti-LGBT+ Roman Catholic judge Amy Coney Barrett.

In the week since the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose Supreme Court seat Trump is attempting to fill, Barrett emerged as the frontrunner for Trump’s nomination and visited the White House twice.

Trump made the announcement in the White House rose garden Saturday, surrounded by flags, and described Barrett as “one of our nation’s most brilliant legal minds”.

In her speech, Barrett acknowledged Ginsburg’s legacy, describing her as a “woman of enormous talent and consequence”, but also found time to praise her former mentor, the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

As a young lawyer, Barrett clerked for the conservative justice, and had a close relationship with him until his death 2016.

She told the audience, which included Scalia’s wife and son: “His judicial philosophy is mine, too.

“A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”

Throughout his long career, Scalia dissented against LGBT+ equality on nearly every issue – from the court decision throwing out sodomy laws, to the one bringing equal marriage.

He also openly compared the rights of gay people to paedophiles and incest.

According to the Associated Press, in 2009 gay Democratic lawmaker Barney Frank said he would not want the issue of same-sex marriage to reach the Supreme Court while Scalia still had a seat on the bench.

He said: “I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court.”

Concerns over Barrett’s nomination have been swirling recently because of her anti-gay beliefs and membership of a religious group that declares that husbands are the leaders of their wives, but Trump pushed for the Senate to confirm her quickly.

He said at the White House announcement: “This should be a straightforward and prompt confirmation. Should be very easy. Good luck. It’s going to be very quick. I’m sure it will be extremely noncontroversial.”

If Barrett is confirmed by the Senate, the Supreme Court will shift to a strong 6 to 3 conservative majority.

At 48 years old, she would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court, meaning she could have a hand in shaping major legal decisions in the US for decades to come.