Elizabeth Warren slams Justice Alito over 'nakedly partisan' speech

Elizabeth Warren slams Justice Alito over 'nakedly partisan' speech
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service MORE (D-Mass.) on Friday condemned Supreme Court Justice Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoSupreme Court sides with murder defendant in major evidentiary ruling Steve Bannon's Supreme Court? Supreme Court seems wary of Boston's refusal to allow flying of Christian flag MORE over a speech he gave Thursday at the Federalist Society’s annual meeting, which Warren called a “nakedly partisan” address. 

“Supreme Court Justices aren't supposed to be political hacks,” the former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate wrote on Twitter. “This right-wing speech is nakedly partisan.

“My bill to #EndCorruptionNow restores some integrity to our Court by forcing Justices to follow the ethics rules other federal judges follow,” Warren added, referring to her proposed Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act aimed at preventing corruption in politics and political partisanship in the justice system. 

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In Alito’s Thursday remarks given via video, the justice claimed that the coronavirus pandemic has caused "previously unimaginable" restrictions on liberty, according to Reuters. 

Alito specifically pointed out the effect of the restrictions on religious events, such as Easter Sunday and Yom Kippur.

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Oath Keeper charges renew attention on Trump orbit Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D) also took aim at Alito, tweeting Friday morning that the justice was a “full-on partisan crusader.” 

It is generally considered the norm for Supreme Court justices and federal judges to refrain from commenting on politically partisan issues, with many believing that the legal professionals have a responsibility to be fair adjudicators of the law, rather than political advocates.

LGBT rights groups also criticized Alito after he said in Thursday’s remarks: “You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now, it's considered bigotry.” 

“That this would happen after our decision in Obergefell should not have come as a surprise,” he added, referencing the landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that guaranteed gay marriage rights across the country. 

On Thursday, Alito cited his dissent in the case, in which he argued that the majority opinion would lead to those who “cling to traditional views on marriage” being “labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools.”

In response, Aphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, argued on Twitter that Alito “shed any pretense of impartiality in a politically charged speech, again attacking the Obergefell decision.”

“Justice Alito: our love and our marriages are valid,” David added. “There is no tension between full equality and religious liberty.”