Conservatives — led by Justice Alito — melt down over Supreme Court’s pro-LGBTQ ruling

The religious right is fuming after a perceived betrayal by Trump's first SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch

Published June 16, 2020 3:14AM (EDT)

Brett Kavanaugh; Donald Trump (Getty/Salon)
Brett Kavanaugh; Donald Trump (Getty/Salon)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

In a landmark 6-3 decision handed down on June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ Americans could sue for workplace discrimination. The biggest shocker was that the majority opinion was written by a conservative: Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee. And some on the far right are having a meltdown.

The three dissenters in the decision were Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Brett Kavanaugh (Trump's second Supreme Court nominee) and Justice Samuel Alito — who sees the ruling as a departure from the strict constructionist ideology of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom Gorsuch replaced on the Court. Alito wrote, "The Court's opinion is like a pirate ship. It sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation that Justice Scalia excoriated — the theory that courts should 'update' old statues so that they better reflect the current values of society."

Carrie Severino, president of the far-right Judicial Crisis Network, feels betrayed by Gorsuch as well — tweeting, "Today six judges acting as advocates opted to rewrite the statute themselves, short-circuiting the legislative process and in the process denying the people a decision that should be theirs to make on a major issue."

Severino also tweeted, "Have no doubts about what happened today: This was the hijacking of textualism. You can't redefine the meaning of words themselves and still be doing textualism. This is an ominous sign for anyone concerned about the future of representative democracy."

The New Yorker's Jane Mayer mocked Severino and others, tweeting, "Judicial Crisis Network is having a judicial crisis!"

After Scalia's death in 2016, far-right social conservatives applauded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to consider President Barack Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland — and they rallied around Trump when he nominated Garland in 2017. But CREW's Robert Maguire notes that "anti-LGBT operatives" are now feeling totally betrayed by Gorsuch.

Far-right Daniel Horowitz tweeted, "So, there is a right to transgenderism but not to self-defense?" and scoffed, "That's real originalism there."

By Alex Henderson

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Anti-discrimination Lgbtq Neil Gorsuch Samuel Alito Scotus Supreme Court