Justice Alito Reflects on Current Events, Drawing Different Reactions

Headline Roundup November 14th, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito spoke to the conservative Federalist Society on Thursday, discussing his views on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, LGBTQ+ rights, free speech and other issues.

Alito's speech was a focus of news media on all sides of the political spectrum. Coverage of the speech from right-rated sources generally focused on Alito's stated concerns about religious freedom, prolonged coronavirus lockdowns and other individual liberties, and didn't usually tie the speech to partisan politics. Conversely, many reports from left- and center-rated outlets concentrated on criticisms of his speech. Some coverage from left-rated outlets framed Alito as having broken with Supreme Court precedent by purportedly abandoning impartiality in favor of cross-party opposition.

Justice Alito Reflects on Current Events, Drawing Different Reactions

From the Center
319

Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito delivered candid takes on several divisive issues facing the U.S., from the measures put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic to tensions between gay rights and religious freedom, during an address to the conservative Federalist Society on Thursday.

Alito said the restrictions imposed by political leaders in order to contain the coronavirus pandemic have "resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty" and denounced recent Supreme Court decisions holding up orders he believed discriminated against religious groups. He argued the pandemic highlighted...

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From the Right
319

Religious liberty and free speech are among Americans' personal freedoms potentially imperiled along with government overreach during the coronavirus pandemic, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned Thursday.

“Tolerance for opposing views is now in short supply,” Alito added in a virtual keynote speech to a conference of the conservative Federalist Society, in which he referenced the current state of discourse in the nation's law schools and the “broader academic community.”

Many recent law school graduates claim they face “harassment” and “retaliation” for any views that depart “from law school orthodoxy,”...

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From the Left
319
ANALYSIS

On Thursday night, Justice Sam Alito delivered the keynote address at this year’s all-virtual Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention. The Federalist Society, a well-funded network of conservative attorneys, has come under unusual scrutiny after Donald Trump elevated scores of its members to the federal judiciary. Its leaders insist that it is a mere debate club, a nonpartisan forum for the exchange of legal ideas. But 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...

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