Alito stays mum when questioned at university about SCOTUS abortion leak
Justice Samuel Alito Jr. poses for a portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court on June 1, 2017 in the nation’s capital. Alito was appointed to the court by former President George W. Bush in 2006.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said he was determined not to answer questions about overturning Roe v. Wade in the first public comments from him since the leaked draft opinion.
During virtual remarks before students at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, Alito was asked if all the judges still had a cordial relationship.
“I think it would be really helpful for all of us to hear, personally, is everyone okay in these very difficult times?” the interrogator asked, according to the Washington Post.
“This is a topic that I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about today, you know, given all the circumstances,” Alito replied.
After a moment of silence, he added: ‘The court right now, we had our conference this morning, we are doing our job. We are taking new cases, we are heading towards the end of the term, which is always a hectic time when we express our opinions.
Alito spoke virtually from a courtroom at the Supreme Court rather than in person in front of the crowd, as justices have canceled in-person appearances and hired additional security since the leak of his potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, written by Alito, rocked the nation.
Still, protesters showed up outside the ticketed event, Scalia’s fourth annual forum.
The court met for the first time on Thursday since the leak. Alito detailed the court’s timeline to finish the job in late June or early July, concluding: “So that’s where we are.”
The publication of the draft, which indicated that five of the nine justices are in favor of annulling Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey of 1992, sparked fierce protests across the country and even in the homes of judges, including Alito. It has led liberal states like New York and California to expand abortion rights and prepare for a rush of abortion seekers from other states and conservative states to prepare their own abortion restrictions.
Anti-demonstration fences have been erected around the Supreme Court building, with more demonstrations expected over the weekend as the Women’s March reaches Washington, D.C.
Pro-abortion protesters gather outside Judge Samuel Alito’s home in Alexandria, Virginia
‘Don’t you like me at home? Out of my womb,’ reads a protester’s sign outside Alito’s home in Alexandria’s Fort Hunt neighborhood.
Pro-abortion protests expected at Conservative judges’ homes
Alito fans show their support for justice after the leak of his controversial opinion on Roe v Wade
The Senate failed to codify abortion rights Wednesday when Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., joined all Republicans in voting against the Women’s Health Protection Act.
The leaked opinion came in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Five of the conservative justices signaled their approval of overturning Roe, while Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to uphold the 15-week ban but keep Roe in her place.
Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leak but stressed that it was not the court’s final decision. The Supreme Court will post one or more opinions online on Monday, depending on its online calendar. However, a ruling on the Dobbs case has not been scheduled and could come any time before the end of the term this summer.
Alito spoke before the student group to discuss Scalia’s impact on textualism before the court, a concept that is based more on the exact text of a law than on the Congressional intent behind it.
Students in New York City demand ‘abortion on demand and without apology’
It’s a concept Alito believes in, but said it led to the wrong decision in a case where the court decided it gave LGBTQ+ people protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Alito disagreed with the majority opinion in Bostock v. Clay County, written by one of the most conservative judges on the court, Neil Gorsuch.
Gorsuch wrote that Title VII, which prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex,” includes gay and transgender people. Alito called Gorsuch a “colleague and friend” but said the decision, reached under the textualist interpretation, is “in my opinion indefensible.”
“It is inconceivable that Congress or voters in 1964 understood that discrimination on the basis of sex meant discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, let alone gender identity,” Alito said. ‘Had Title VII been understood at the time in the sense that Bostock held it to mean, the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex would never have been enacted. In fact, he may not have gotten a single vote in Congress.