U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered a hyper-partisan speech to the conservative Federalist Society on Thursday in which he attacked same-sex marriage and restrictions on in-person worship amid the COVID pandemic.
Politico reports: “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. … 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.”
Complained Alito: “You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until very recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it’s considered bigotry.”
CNN adds: “Alito, instead, took on the restrictions of in-person worship services during the pandemic — an issue that is currently before the court — as well as Obergefell v. Hodges, the opinion that cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide. He also returned to the issue of the Second Amendment and touched on the possibility that Democrats may seek to restructure the size of the court. In addressing Covid-19, Alito pointedly noted that he was not trying to diminish the severity of the pandemic, which he said has taken a heavy human toll, leaving ‘thousands dead, many more hospitalized,’ but that he wanted to emphasize its impact on the rule of law and individual rights as officials have moved to combat the virus.”
“Alito said that the Covid crisis has served as a ‘sort of constitutional stress test’ that has highlighted ‘disturbing trends’ that were present before the virus appeared,” CNN adds. “He pointed to emergency orders over the summer where the court sided with officials who sought to restrict the number of people who could worship in person and he lambasted his colleagues for ruling in favor of state and local officials even when he thought churches were being treated differently from other entities that had fewer restrictions.”
Watch the full speech (Alito begins around the 14 minute mark).