Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered an unusually inflammatory public speech Thursday night, starkly warning about the threats he contends religious believers face from advocates for gay and abortion rights, as well as public officials responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to a virtual conference of conservative lawyers, the George W. Bush appointee made no direct comment on the recent election, the political crisis relating to President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his defeat or litigation on the issue pending at the Supreme Court.
However, 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.
Alito abandoned any pretense of impartiality in his speech, a grievance-laden tirade against Democrats, the progressive movement, and the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alito’s targets included COVID-related restrictions, same-sex marriage, abortion, Plan B, the contraceptive mandate, LGBTQ non-discrimination laws, and five sitting Democratic senators.
Ironically, Alito began his pre-recorded address by condemning an effort by the U.S. Judicial Conference to forbid federal judges from being members of the Federalist Society. He then praised, by name, the four judges who spearheaded a successful effort to defeat the ban—or, as Alito put it, who “stood up to an attempt to hobble the debate that the Federalist Society fosters.”