Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett shot down the likelihood of marriage equality being overturned in questioning during her second day of confirmation hearings before the Senate.
Asked Tuesday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) how she would handle a case where a state tried to outlaw same-sex marriage, Barrett shut down the likelihood of that happening.
“If [a state] outlawed same-sex marriage, there would have to be a case challenging it. And for the Supreme Court to take it up, you’d have to have lower courts going along and say, ‘We’re going to flout Obergefell,’” the Supreme Court nominee explained, referencing Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark case the legalized gay marriage nationwide.
“And the most likely result would be that lower courts, who are bound by Obergefell, would shut such a lawsuit down and it wouldn’t make its way up to the Supreme Court. But if it did, it would be the same process I’ve described [for how I would address the case,]” the 48-year-old judge continued.
Barrett, who is currently facing her first day of questioning from senators, was also asked about her judicial philosophy by the South Carolina Republican.
Graham jokingly asked her to explain her answer “in English,” noting that fellow Judiciary member Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) was a constitutional scholar who regularly used flowery language to explain legal jargon.
“In English, that means that I interpret the Constitution as a law, that I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So that meaning doesn’t change over time, and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it,” she explained of being an originalist.