Justice Alito is speaking out in very clear, and bold terms about the importance of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other conservative issues in the United States – especially right now during these troubled times.
And while Justice Alito obviously didn’t talk about the current election – that would be highly inappropriate – he did dance around the topic quite a bit by making it clear that his conservative roots are running very, very deep these days.
Alito didn’t hold back on other controversial subjects, even suggesting that the pressure Christians face surrounding their religious beliefs is akin to the strictures the U.S. placed on Germany and Japan after World War II.
“Is our country going to follow that course?” Alito asked. “For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom. It’s often just an excuse for bigotry and can’t be tolerated, even when there is no evidence that anybody has been harmed. … The question we face is whether our society will be inclusive enough to tolerate people with unpopular religious beliefs.”
Alito argued that some recent Supreme Court decisions, including the landmark ruling upholding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, fueled intolerance to those who believe marriage should be limited to unions between one man and one woman.
“Until very recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now, it’s considered bigotry,” he said.
Alito also seemed to minimize the significance of a refusal of a Colorado baker to produce a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The justice noted that the couple involved “was given a free cake by another bakery” and that the high-profile standoff prompted “celebrity chefs” to come to their defense.
Justices often include pointed, even barbed, language in their opinions. Indeed, Alito regularly does so, and many of his remarks Thursday night echoed similar comments he’s made in caustic dissents. Still, it is uncommon for a justice to weigh in on hot-button topics like abortion or gay rights in speaking appearances open to the press or public.
During his half-hour-long speech, Alito warned that not only is freedom of belief increasingly under threat, but freedom of expression is as well.
“One of the great challenges for the Supreme Court going forward will be to protect freedom of speech. Although that freedom is falling out of favor in some circles, we need to do whatever we can to prevent it from becoming a second-tier constitutional right,” he said.
Justice Alito is often the “forgotten” SCOTUS justice.
But we owe a debt of gratitude to him for ordering those PA ballots to be set aside and not counted in with the rest last week.
According to reports, Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has ordered all of Pennsylvania’s late-arrival ballots to be separated from the rest.
Earlier Friday, the Pennsylvania Republican Party had called upon the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case related to Pennsylvania’s own Supreme Court, allowing the extension of the counting of mail-in ballots to three days after Election Day.
The ballots had to be postmarked by the time polls closed on Tuesday, and the party asked the highest court in the land to order that those ballots be “segregated” and not counted at this time.
“All county boards of election are hereby ordered, pending further order of the Court, to comply with the following guidance provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth on October 28 and November 1, namely, (1) that all ballots received by mail after 8:00 p.m. on November 3 be segregated and kept ‘in a secure, safe, and sealed container separate from other voted ballots,’ and (2) that all such ballots, if counted, shall be counted separately,” Alito said.
He added: “Until today, this Court was not informed that the guidance issued on October 28, which had an important beating on the question where to order special treatment of the ballots in question, had been modified. The application received today also informs the Court that neither the applicant not the Secretary has been able to verify that all bards are complying with the Secretary’s guidance, which, it is alleged, is not legally binding on them.”
Between that and these comments here, it sure does seem like Alito is feeling and sowing his conservative oats.
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