One of Trump’s top picks to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg has close links to ‘one of the most extreme’ anti-LGBT+ hate groups in America
Allison Jones Rushing, one of Donald Trump’s top picks to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court, has worrying links to an anti-LGBT+ hate group.
Rushing is one of the 20 potential conservative nominees Trump listed earlier this month, just weeks before before Ginsburg passed away and left a vacancy on the US Supreme Court.
Trump plans to replace RBG, as she was affectionately known, imminently, and has vowed to announce a woman as his nominee this week.
Rushing is one of the most prominent female potential nominees on Trump’s list, and has a concerning anti-LGBT+ history. According to CNN’s Daniel Dale, Trump boasted that one of his shortlisted candidates ‘”is 38 years old and could serve on the court for 50 years”, which Dale says is “almost certainly” Rushing.
Trump notes that one of the candidates on his SCOTUS short list (almost certainly Allison Jones Rushing) is 38 years old and could serve on the court for 50 years. He sarcastically says Democrats are "thrilled" about that prospect.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 21, 2020
The judge was confirmed to the fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in March 2019, but many LGBT+ organisations expressed alarm over the judge’s decade-long association with well-known anti-LGBT+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
ADF is an anti-LGBT+ legal group, which has been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT+ hate group. The organisation has supported criminalising gay sex in America and abroad, fought for the state-enforced sterilisation of trans people, and has linked being gay to paedophilia.
According to NBC News, Rushing was an intern for ADF as a law student in 2005. She authored amicus briefs for clients in support of the ADF’s conservative views, and co-authored a legal brief on “religious liberty”. Between 2012 and 2017, Rushing spoke at ADF events at least once a year.
Allison Rushing has supported and closely associated herself with one of the most extreme anti-LGBT organisations operating in this country today.
Ian Wilhite, a spokesperson for Lambda Legal, said in a statement at the time of Rushing’s senate confirmation: “Throughout her brief legal career, Allison Rushing has supported and closely associated herself with one of the most extreme anti-LGBT organisations operating in this country today, the Alliance Defending Freedom.”
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Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, also told CNN in a statement at the time: “Her record clearly shows she will not be a fair and independent judge — a reality with dire consequences for Fourth Circuit cases and the American people.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home on Friday evening (September 18) from complications of metastatic cancer of the pancreas, prompting an outpouring of love and praise for the equal rights champion and feminist icon and an immediate political firestorm.
Democrats have called for a delay in replacing Ginsburg, following a precedent set during the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency, when Republicans senate majority leader Mitch McConnell declared a replacement would not be approved, and that the next president would instead choose his or her pick following the election.
However Friday (September 18), McConnell was adamant that a vote would be held on Trump’s nominee. Ted Cruz has argued that there is a different precedent for times when the White House and Senate are controlled by the same party, which wasn’t the case under Obama.
Until Ginsburg’s death, the supreme court had a 5 to 4 Republican majority. Should Trump’s nominee be appointed, this would shift to a stronger 6 to 3 conservative majority which could remain in place for decades, shaping major legal decision in the US for years to come.