Democrats have developed a certain disdain for the current Supreme Court of the United States because there is a 6 – 3 conservative edge on the court.
And when one of those justices has the audacity to speak their mind it triggers them, in some cases to the point of calling for their impeachment, as was the case on Thursday when Justice Samuel Alito spoke to The Federalist Society his belief that religious freedom is being attacked, Reason reported.
“Just as the COVID restrictions have highlighted the movement toward rule by experts, litigation about those restrictions, has pointed up emerging trends in the assessment of individual rights. This is especially evident with respect to religious liberty. It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored, right,” the justice said.
“And that marks a surprising turn of events. Consider where things stood in the 1990s. And to me, at least that does not seem like the Jurassic age. When a Supreme Court decision called employment division versus Smith, cut back sharply on the protection provided by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Congress was quick to respond. It passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
“To ensure broad protection for religious liberty. The law had almost universal support. In the house, the vote was unanimous. In the Senate, it was merely 97 to three, and the bill was enthusiastically signed by President Clinton today that widespread support has vanished. When states have considered or gone ahead and adopted their own versions of reference. They have been threatened with punishing economic boycotts,” he said.
The Justice then spoke about the famed Little Sisters of the Poor case, brought by the administration of former President Obama, because they would not allow their health insurance plan to cover birth control.
He talked about the work of the group that has helped “the elderly, poor, regardless of religion” but have been “under unrelenting attack for the better part of a decade.”
“If they did not knuckle under and violate a tenet of their faith. They face crippling fines, fines that would likely have forced them to shut down their homes,” Justice Alito said.
The current administration tried to prevent that by adopting a new rule. But the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey supported by 17, under other states, challenged that new rule. Last spring, the Little Sisters won their most recent battle in the Supreme Court, I should add by a vote of seven to two, but the case was sent back to the Court of Appeals. And the Little Sisters legal fight goes on and on,” he said.
The Justice said that “For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom. It’s often just an excuse for bigotry, and it can’t be tolerated, even when there is no evidence that anybody has been harmed.”
This did not work for many progressives, like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who were furious at him.
“Supreme Court Justices aren’t supposed to be political hacks. This right-wing speech is nakedly partisan. My bill to #EndCorruptionNow restores some integrity to our Court by forcing Justices to follow the ethics rules other federal judges follow,” she said on Twitter.
Supreme Court Justices aren't supposed to be political hacks. This right-wing speech is nakedly partisan. My bill to #EndCorruptionNow restores some integrity to our Court by forcing Justices to follow the ethics rules other federal judges follow. https://t.co/VAjFAqGesN
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 13, 2020
“Justice Alito’s rant isn’t just bizarre, it’s factually wrong. Religions are still free to discriminate, but government cannot when it comes to marriage. Also, the First Amendment protects public criticism. If Alito’s neighbor wants to call him a bigot, that’s protected speech,” Rep. Ted Lieu said.
Justice Alito’s rant isn’t just bizarre, it’s factually wrong. Religions are still free to discriminate, but government cannot when it comes to marriage.
Also, the First Amendment protects public criticism. If Alito’s neighbor wants to call him a bigot, that’s protected speech. https://t.co/7KxgbMZUE8
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 13, 2020
“Homophobic rhetoric isn’t a matter of free speech. It’s a matter of hate speech. These are stunning, harmful words from Justice Alito. That’s why my @LGBTEqCaucus colleagues and I introduced a resolution reaffirming marriage equality and #SCOTUS’ Obergefell v. Hodges decision,” Rep. Jimmy Gomez said.
Homophobic rhetoric isn’t a matter of free speech. It’s a matter of hate speech.
These are stunning, harmful words from Justice Alito.
— Rep. Jimmy Gomez (@RepJimmyGomez) November 13, 2020
The Justice, in this writer’s opinion, did not engage in hate speech, but even if he did, even if he said that he hated certain groups, no matter how reprehensible such a statement would be, it is still free speech. There is no “hate speech” exception to The First Amendment.
But Justice Alito simply argued that everyone, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc…, should be afforded the right to their religious freedom. He is correct.
Still some progressives called for his impeachment.
IMPEACH ALITO https://t.co/95bwu9L0Kt
— Alan Cooper (@MrAlanCooper) November 13, 2020
This speech alone is more than enough reason to impeach & remove Alito from the Court. Nobody w/such low regard for human rights & reality-based governance has any right deciding questions of Constitutional rights & law. https://t.co/f2deuKYZHA
— Mark Hughes (@markhughesfilms) November 13, 2020
He should be impeached for politicization of his Supreme Court appointment. #ImpeachAlito
— TrueBlueAlaskan (@CherylB907) November 14, 2020
The fact he shows up at such a horrible event is impeachable. But his words somehow were even worse. #ImpeachAlito
— Chris Angove (@_chrisangove) November 14, 2020