"US Supreme Court West Facade" by Matt Wade / CC BY-SA 3.0
By Samantha Schmidt and Sarah Pulliam Bailey
A conservative replacement on the Supreme Court for late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday, could provide a major boost to religious rights while threatening years of advancements for the LGBTQ community, legal experts and activists say.
In cases spanning same-sex marriage rights to workplace protections, the Supreme Court has in recent years delivered landmark victories to gay and transgender Americans. But these watershed rulings have also left unresolved the polarizing conflict between those who want to safeguard religious rights and those who want to expand LGBTQ protections.
Ginsburg not only played a critical role in voting in favor of LGBTQ rights but also voted to keep religious exemptions within narrow boundaries, said David B. Cruz, Newton Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Her absence, and her replacement by a conservative justice, could help tip the scale toward curtailing LGBTQ rights.
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