US Supreme Court Justice Alito mocks foreign critics of abortion ruling


WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) – Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has brushed off criticism from figures around the world over last month’s blockbuster ruling he authored that overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision on abortion rights.

In his first public remarks since the decision, which led to various conservative US states imposing abortion bans, Alito dismissed criticism of the decision, which came from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister. Canadian Minister Justin. Trudeau.

Additionally, Alito took aim at Britain’s Prince Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, who referenced the abortion ruling in a speech last week at the United Nations.

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Alito’s unannounced speech was delivered on July 21 at a conference on religious liberty in Rome organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of Notre Dame. Video of the speech was uploaded Thursday by Notre Dame.

“I had the honor of writing this mandate, I believe, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of this institution that has been lambasted by a whole host of foreign leaders who felt perfectly fine commenting on the American law,” Alito said.

“One of them was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but he paid the price,” joked Alito, referring to Johnson’s plans to quit following criticism of his leadership in the ruling Conservative Party. in Great Britain.

“But what really hurt me – what really hurt me – was when the Duke of Sussex spoke to the United Nations and seemed to compare the decision whose name cannot be pronounced with the ‘Russian attack on Ukraine,’ Alito added sarcastically, referring to his decision overturning the Roe decision that had legalized abortion nationwide in the United States and recognized the constitutional right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy.

Alito’s references to the abortion ruling, which came during a speech about the importance of religious freedom, drew laughter from the audience.

In Prince Harry’s July 18 speech, he referred to 2022 as “a painful year in a painful decade” before citing the war in Ukraine and “the rollback of constitutional rights here in the United States”, which seemed to refer to the abortion decision.

Johnson called the decision “a big step backwards.”

Macron said on the day of the ruling that abortion was a fundamental right and that women’s freedoms were “compromised” by the Supreme Court. Trudeau called the decision “horrible.”

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan said in a separate appearance in Montana on July 21 that it would be “a dangerous thing for a democracy” if the conservative-majority Supreme Court lost the trust of the American public. Read more

The court, America’s highest judicial body, has a 6-3 conservative majority that has boldly asserted its power in ruling on abortion and other recent cases. Read more

Opinion polls showed a drop in public approval for the court following the abortion ruling, which capped its blockbuster tenure that ended last month.

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Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham

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