Politics Justice Alito rejects global leaders' criticism of Supreme Court's...

Justice Alito rejects global leaders’ criticism of Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe


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  • Alito responded to criticism from the leaders of the UK, France and Canada in recent remarks.
  • Alito also responded to criticism of Prince Harry.
  • Conservative jurisprudence has long framed religious freedom as an unalienable right.

Washington – Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Roe v. The author of the landmark Supreme Court opinion overturning Whedon, deflected criticism of the ruling from foreign leaders in recent comments focused on the importance of religious freedom.

Speaking in remarks released Thursday in Rome last week, Alito said he considered looking into opinions on religion by foreign courts but decided against it — even though, he said, foreign leaders have a lot to say about the high court’s abortion ruling.

“I had the honor of writing this term, I think, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been seduced by a whole string of foreign leaders who have felt perfectly fine commenting on American law.” Alito said at the eventwhich was organized by Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Freedom Initiative.

“One of these was former (British) Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” Alito joked, referring to Johnson’s decision to resign earlier this month. “But he paid the price.”

Johnson had Called the decision a “backward step”.

The conservative justice also drew criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“But what really struck me was when the Duke of Sussex addressed the United Nations and compared the decision not to be named to the Russian attack on Ukraine,” Alito said. “Well, despite this temptation I’m not going to talk about other countries’ cases. I’m just going to say that if we’re ultimately going to win the battle to protect religious freedom in an increasingly secular society, we’re going to need more than that. Positive law.”

On June 24, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court overturned Roe, the 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion. That has led to bans on the procedure in some conservative states and new lawsuits across the country.

Most of Alito’s comments focused on religious liberty, an issue he has regularly addressed in speeches. Religious interests won several Supreme Court cases in the term that ended in June, including a First Amendment victory for a former high school football coach who lost his job after praying at the 50-yard line. The court also struck down a state ban in Maine on using public money to pay for attendance at schools offering religious instruction.

Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, a nonpartisan group that has pushed for greater transparency and other changes in federal courts, criticized Alito and the court’s recent religious liberty rulings.

“Justice flying to the Holy See to take a victory lap for forced school prayer, forced public funding of religious schools, and conceptions inconsistent with science or the Hebrew Bible… is the very capstone to what was real (disappointing) word for those of us. who support religious freedom but don’t want a state tool to shove sectarianism down citizens’ throats,” Roth said.

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