US President Donald Trump is expected to name Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court later.
Reuters news agency said two sources had confirmed Judge Barrett as Mr Trump’s choice following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week.
Among those reacting to the expected nomination, Kevin Jennings, head of LGBT advocacy group Lambda Legal, said it would “unleash a Supreme Court majority that is hostile to all of our basic civil rights, and the impact will be felt for decades”.
He added: “Judge Barrett’s personal belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, coupled with her unwillingness to affirm that the Supreme Court’s decision making marriage equality the law of the land is settled law, should sound the alarm for anyone who cares about LGBTQ people and their families.”
David McIntosh, president of conservative group The Club For Growth, described Judge Barrett as an “excellent selection who has shown a rock-solid commitment to originalism and the Constitution”.
“Yet again, President Trump has nominated an extraordinary judge to the Supreme Court.
“This choice will shape America’s future, as the court considers cases relating to issues like the constant unconstitutional growth of government and whether federal agencies should have free reign to enact arbitrary rules without congressional approval.”
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Farhana Khera, executive director of civil rights group Muslim Advocates, said: “American Muslims already know what’s at stake.
“A Supreme Court with just one Trump justice upheld the Muslim Ban, enshrining a discriminatory policy that forced Muslims to live apart from their families and sent a message that our community is not welcome in this country. One with three Trump justices is capable of excusing so much worse.”
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Christian ministry group Liberty Counsel, said: “Amy Coney Barrett is the right choice for the US Supreme Court because she applies the intent and text of the Constitution to the statutes she reviews.
“A judge should be a neutral interpreter of the Constitution who knows what it means to interpret and apply the law rather than an activist legislator who tries to create the law.”
Who was Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
Brett Hartl, government affairs director at The Center For Biological Diversity, a charity known for its work protecting endangered species, said: “Judge Barrett is an ideological fanatic who lacks the temperament to rule fairly in the interests of all Americans.
“Her slim judicial record shows that she’s hostile to the environment and will slam shut the courthouse doors to public interest advocates, to the delight of corporate polluters.
“Environmental justice, our climate and wildlife on the brink of extinction will all suffer if Barrett is confirmed.”
The nomination will be Mr Trump’s third and will allow him to strengthen the conservative majority in the Supreme Court just weeks before the US presidential election.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat on the Supreme Court since 1993 until her death due to complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has accused Mr Trump of an “abuse of power” over plans to replace her before the 3 November poll.