Opinion: Judge Alito’s reckless comments about Prince Harry and Boris Johnson

In what began as a serious discourse about the need to protect religious freedom, Alito mocked foreign leaders who criticized the controversial decision he wrote in Dobbs v. Jackson, which ended a federal right to abortion. Last month.

Then he told his audience of mostly friendly law professors on a Roman holiday, “I have had the honor of writing the term, I believe, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution criticized by a whole series of foreign leaders who took the full satisfaction of commenting on American law …”

“One of those was ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” Alito said before pausing for comedy effect. “But he paid the price,” he added, referring to Johnson. Resignation advance this month.

Undoubtedly, Alito was encouraged by the scattered laughter and light applause inspired by his Boris Johnson sniper, and then followed by a completely downed comment. “But what really struck me, what really struck me, was when the Duke of Sussex addressed the United Nations and seemed to compare the resolution, whose name may not be pronounced, to the Russian attack on Ukraine.”

Ukraine comment tear An uncomfortable silence, which seemed to suggest the audience was confused as to whether the story was meant to be funny or merely a reflection of Alito’s seemingly low opinion of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
Samuel Alito mocks foreign critics for rescinding Roe v. Wade's Rome speech on religious freedom

Alito’s comments about the prime minister and the Duke of Sussex were inappropriate for any Supreme Court justice speaking in a foreign country or even in the United States. The court usually declines to rule on cases involving foreign policy because the Constitution generally leaves these matters to the president exclusively, with the occasional advice and approval of Congress. There is no mention in the Constitution of itinerant Supreme Court justices attacking foreign leaders who disagree with the court’s pronouncements.

This is a crucial time for the reputation and stability of the Supreme Court, given the outrage many Americans have expressed about the reversal of Roe v. Wade after 49 years. There have been proposals to “mobilize in court” with the support of many in Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden I suggested Committee to study the idea. The proposal would increase the number of Supreme Court justices, thereby weakening the power of the current conservative wing of the court.

Through his speech in Rome, Alito showed that he was not Antonin Scalia, whose wit and charm in the emergence of public oratory impressed many, including those who disagreed with his conservative policy.

Many Americans were undoubtedly surprised that Alito or any Supreme Court justice would be allowed to make public comments about a recent Supreme Court decision. Televised congressional hearings on nominations to the Supreme Court have taught Americans that they will always refuse or distort direct answers to any case that may come before the Court.

on his own Confirmation session In 2006, Alito sidestepped questions about Roe v. Wade with a copy of an answer given by several other conservative court candidates saying that the decision was an “important precedent for the Supreme Court” and “has been in the books for a long time.” This answer was then supplemented with a comment from Alito indicating that he would not pre-commit to his position on future issues because he did not want any litigant to believe they had already made their decision on an issue without first hearing the facts.

Many Americans would probably be shocked to hear a Supreme Court justice give a public speech of any kind. Although judges sometimes make public speeches, they are usually meticulous in avoiding any discussion of issues relating to pending or potential cases. And issues related to abortion are always on the agenda of federal courts across the country on their potential trip to the Supreme Court. Dobbs v. Jackson will not end litigation over the nuances of abortion-related laws across the country.

Public confidence in court does not require judges to avoid all their rhetoric, but it does require them to be sane and judicious on the subjects of their choice. Alito showed unusually poor judgment in discussing the Roe v. Wade controversy in a foreign country, even as a jest, while cases regarding the abortion issue are pending in the United States. Discussions on this important issue by Supreme Court justices should take place in the open and public courtrooms of the United States and not in front of a private group in a foreign state auditorium.