OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has broken his silence since the draft leak of the court’s decision to end Roe V Wade was published.
He was speaking to an audience at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University on Thursday and he was reluctant to talk about the leaked opinion, The Washington Post reported.
He spoke to the crowd via closed circuit, even though the university is around seven miles away, as threats have been made against some of the Justices.
A questioner asked him if he and the other Justices were in a place where they could go out together.
“I think it would just be really helpful for all of us to hear, personally, are you all doing okay in these very challenging times?” the person said.
“This is a subject I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about today regarding, you know — given all the circumstances,” the Justice said.
“The court right now, we had our conference this morning, we’re doing our work. We’re taking new cases, we’re headed toward the end of the term, which is always a frenetic time as we get our opinions out,” he said.
The court gathered Thursday for the first time since the draft opinion was disclosed to Politico and the court’s chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr., opened a leak investigation.
After detailing the schedule for getting the court’s work done by the end of June or early July, Alito skipped the usual boilerplate that justices tend to employ about disagreeing about the law but remaining respectful and friendly.
Instead, he concluded: “So that’s where we are.”
Justice Alito spoke about the 2020 Bostock v. Clayton County case which said that a 196-0s civil rights law protected gay and transgender workers from discrimination. It was a decision in which Chief justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with liberal Justices in a 6 – 3 majority.
“It is inconceivable that either Congress or voters in 1964 understood discrimination because of sex to mean discrimination because of sexual orientation, much less gender identity,” he said. “If Title VII had been understood at that time to mean what Bostock held it to mean, the prohibition on discrimination because of sex would never have been enacted. In fact, it might not have gotten a single vote in Congress.”
It comes as protests have raged at the homes of conservative Justices and as Attorney General Merrick Garland has ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to increase security at the homes of the targeted Justices.
“Attorney General Garland continues to be briefed on security matters related to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Justices. The Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to help ensure the Justices’ safety by providing additional support to the Marshal of the Supreme Court and Supreme Court Police,” Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.
“The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) has a strong partnership with the Supreme Court Police, and upon the request of the Marshal of the Supreme Court, the USMS does provide assistance as needed,” a spokesperson for the Marshals said.
“The USMS is currently assisting the Marshal of the Supreme Court in response to increased security concerns stemming from the unauthorized release of the draft opinion; however, the USMS does not comment on specific security measures,” they said.
“The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right,” Politico reported.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.”
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” he added.
“We, therefore, hold the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito writes in the document, labeled the ‘Opinion of the Court.’
After some liberals became enraged last week and even threatened the Supreme Court Justices who, in a leaked draft made a preliminary vote to end Roe V Wade, Justice Samuel Alito, the author of the opinion, canceled an appearance he had scheduled.
The Court did not give a reason for the cancelation but it comes after a liberal group has vowed to protest outside of the homes of the conservative Justices, Reuters reported.