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(LifeSiteNews) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito struck a defiant tone last week in his first public remarks since authoring the majority opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, mocking the disapproval he has received from foreign leaders for returning abortion policy to the democratic process.
“I had the honor this term of writing I think the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been lambasted by a whole string of foreign leaders who felt perfectly fine commenting on American law,” the conservative justice said July 21 in newly-released video from a University of Notre Dame Law School conference in Rome.
“One of these was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but he paid the price,” Alito quipped, referring to Johnson’s resignation amid scandal. “But what really wounded me – what really wounded me – was when the Duke of Sussex addressed the United Nations and seemed to compare the decision whose name may not be spoken with the Russian attack on Ukraine.”
Earlier this month, Prince Harry told the U.N. that “the rolling back of Constitutional rights in the United States” was part of “a global assault on democracy and freedom.”
“Well, despite this temptation, I’m not going to talk about cases from other countries,” Alito said.
On the main topic of the conference, religious liberty, Alito said the challenge in maintaining it was to “convince people that religious liberty is worth defending if they don’t think that religion is a good thing that deserves protection.”
“Ultimately, if we’re going to win the battle to protect religious freedom, in an increasingly secular society, we will need more than positive law,” he argued, adding that people need to be persuaded that religious liberty “provides a way for religiously diverse people to hold together and to flourish,” as illustrated by “the American experience.”
“The champions of religious liberty, who ‘go out as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves’ can expect to find hearts that are open to their message,” Alito concluded.
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court decided 6-3 to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, and 5-4 to overturn Roe, the 1973 precedent that forced all fifty states to allow most abortions.
“Roe’s constitutional analysis was far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the various constitutional provisions to which it vaguely pointed,” Alito wrote. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Roe’s overturn sparked the activation of scores of pro-life laws across the country. Abortion giant Planned Parenthood has suspended abortions and/or closed locations in reaction to the ruling, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly-enacted abortion prohibitions.
But leftists prosecutors in dozens of localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, and abortion allies have turned to supporting interstate travel for abortion to skirt new laws, ensuring that work and debate will continue over the prospect of banning abortion nationally. President Joe Biden has called for electing more Democrats to Congress to support codifying a “right” to abortion-on-demand in federal law.