US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has mocked prominent figures around the world, including Prince Harry and outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for speaking out against the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
72-year-old Alito drew laughter with his scathing speech at a conference on religious liberty in Italy, his first public remarks since the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision was overturned.
During his speech last week, Harry spoke of 2022 as “a painful year in a painful decade” before citing the war in Ukraine and “the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States”.
However while speaking at a conference on religious liberty in Rome, Alito said in a sarcastic tone:
“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.
“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.”
Alito also said “one of these was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but he paid the price,” appearing to reference Johnson’s decision to step down as prime minister amid domestic scandals and widespread criticism of his leadership from within his own Conservative Party.
During his address in Rome last week, Alito said that “despite this temptation, I’m not going to talk about cases from other countries.”
Alito also lauded U.S. efforts to protect religious liberty around the world, saying: “Religious liberty is an international problem, but I do think that we Americans can take special pride in our country’s contribution to the development of a global consensus at least on the level of international agreements in support of this fundamental right.”
“Religious liberty is under attack in many places because it is dangerous to those who want to hold complete power,” he said, adding: “It also probably grows out of something dark and deep in the human DNA, a tendency to distrust and dislike people who are not like ourselves.”
“All I’m going to say is that, ultimately, if we are going to win the battle to protect religious freedom in an increasingly secular society, we will need more than positive law,” he said.