U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Thursday night in the company of his Federalist Society friends unleashed years of pent-up anger in a speech at the right wing group’s convention.
One of his many targets was the court’s landmark 2015 decision in Obergefell, which found that same-sex couples have the same constitutional rights and responsibilities as their different-sex couples peers. Alito dissented in that 5-4 decision.
Calling it “a grievance-laden tirade,” Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern writes that “Alito abandoned any pretense of impartiality in his speech.” He likens the conservative jurist’s speech to “a burn book for many cases he has participated in, particularly those in which he dissented.”
Alito did not mince words Thursday night, sharing his clear anger and offense as he delivered the keynote address to the Federalist Society 2020 National Lawyers Convention.
“You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” Alito lamented, in a twisted version of the truth. “Until very recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it’s considered bigotry.”
“That this would happen after our decision in Obergefell should not have come as a surprise,” he continued, noting that he could see “where the decision would lead.”
“I wrote the following: ‘I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes. But if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments employers and schools.’ That is just what is coming to pass.”
“One of the great challenges for the Supreme Court going forward will be to protect freedom of speech,” Alito warns, clearly concerned only for the freedom of speech of his fellow conservatives who oppose equality.
He laments, “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.”
In his Obergefell dissent, Alito warned the Court’s decision would lead to “bitter and lasting wounds.” Five years later, it seems, he meant his own.
Here is Justice Alito complaining that the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision has crushed the free speech of anti-LGBTQ advocates. pic.twitter.com/0eH9QsxMTU
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) November 13, 2020
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