Barrett defends association with Alliance Defending Freedom
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., questioned Barrett about her association with Alliance Defending Freedom, mentioning that she had given five lectures on originalism to members of the Christian legal group’s Blackstone Legal Fellowship. “Were you aware of ADF’s decadeslong efforts to recriminalize homosexuality?” he asked.
When Barrett replied that she was not aware of those efforts, Leahy said that ADF “filed a brief in Lawrence v. Texas ... in support of state laws punishing private homosexual activity” and “celebrated when India restored a law punishing sodomy to 10 years in prison.” Leahy went on to express concern that she worked with an organization “working to criminalize people for loving a person that they are in love with.”
Barrett defended her work with the Alliance Defending Freedom and her speeches to the Blackstone Legal Fellowship: “My experience at the Blackstone program at which I spoke was a wonderful one. It gathers the best and brightest Christian … law students from around the country.”
“I enjoyed teaching the students about what my specialty was, which is constitutional law and nothing about any of my interactions with anyone involved in the Blackstone program were ever indicative of any kind of discrimination on the basis of anything,” she added.
After Barrett responded to Leahy’s question about Alliance Defending Freedom, the senator asked her if she thought same-sex marriage should “be a crime.”
She responded by declaring that “Obergefell clearly says that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.” Leahy followed up by asking if she agreed with the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in light of the legal principle of stare decisis.
In her response to that inquiry, Barrett invoked Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who said that she was not going to “give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to any particular precedent,” acknowledging that “it’s precedent of the Supreme Court that gives same-sex couples the right to marry.”