Thu. Aug 4th, 2022

Supreme Court Justice Alito hits back at foreign critics of abortion decision

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito mocked foreign critics who denounced his decision to overturned Roe v. Wade in a speech made public Thursday by the Notre Dame Law School.

Speaking in Rome last week in his first public appearance since the controversial ruling, Alito addressed the backlash he has received following his support to reverse the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.

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Though his speech largely centered around religious liberty, he took the moment to jab at foreign critics like U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who called the June ruling a “step backward.”

“I had the honor this term of writing, I think, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been lambasted by a whole string of foreign leaders, who felt perfectly fine commenting on American law,” Alito, who now dons a beard, said.

Abortion rights activist rally at the Washington Monument before a march to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on May 14, 2022.

Abortion rights activist rally at the Washington Monument before a march to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on May 14, 2022.
(JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP via Getty Images)

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“One of these was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But he paid the price,” he joked in reference to the prime minister’s decision to resign his post earlier this month.

Alito also called attention to criticism the high court received from French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

An anti-abortion demonstrator prays near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on June 8, 2022.

An anti-abortion demonstrator prays near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on June 8, 2022.
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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“But what really wounded me was when the Duke of Sussex addressed the United Nations and seemed to compare the decision whose name may not be spoken with the Russian attack on Ukraine,” Alito said. “Well, despite this temptation I’m not going to talk about cases from other countries.

“All I am going to say is that ultimately if we are going to win the battle to protect religious freedom in an increasingly secular society we will need more than positive law,” he added.

Alito said a major challenge for him is figuring out how to convince the “increasing number of young Americans” who do not identify with a religion that religious liberty should be protected.



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