Quick: You just overturned the national right to an abortion, the consequences of which cannot be overstated but just for posterity include a 10-year-old rape victim being forced to travel out of state to obtain the procedure so she doesn’t have to carry her attacker’s child to term, a woman being forced to go through “painful, hours-long labor” to deliver a nonviable fetus, and hospitals denying lifesaving care to actual living beings. People already think you’re an angry little man who hates women and doesn‘t want them to have any rights, and your citing of a 17th-century jurist who defended marital rape and had women executed has done nothing to disabuse them of that notion. You’re on summer break from your cushy, lifelong job that you have no worry of ever losing. What do you do with all of that free time? Do you lay low, catch up on your correspondence, and try to rebuild whatever shred of respect the institution you work for once had? Or do you fly abroad to deliver a smug little comedy routine attacking anyone who’s had the audacity to say you were wrong, claiming the only explanation is that they’re religious bigots? If you’re Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, you clearly gotta go with the latter.
CNN reports that in his first public appearance since authoring the opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, Alito gave a speech in Rome trashing foreign leaders who spoke out against the court for overturning the landmark 1973 decision. “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,” Alito said. While those who criticized the decision included, among others, French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, Alito zeroed in on U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson, whose criticism was the only one that the justice was able to tee up for a joke. “One of these was former prime minister Boris Johnson,” Alito said. “But he paid the price.” In reality, Johnson’s resignation had literally nothing to do with him calling the rolling back of abortion rights in the U.S. a “backward step,” but the conservative justice has not been one for facts. Alito also sarcastically claimed to be particularly “wounded” when Prince Harry, 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.”
Elsewhere in his little stand-up routine, Alito argued that “religious liberty is under attack in many places because it is dangerous to those who want to hold complete power. 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.” Of course, “religious liberty” is not actually under attack in the U.S., though the rights of millions Americans are under attack by a minority of religious zealots who think their religion specifically should be shoved down the country’s collective throat. (Curiously, Alito had nothing to say about the fact that some Jewish leaders support abortion. Naturally, he won’t even entertain the idea that people who don’t believe in God should have the freedom to believe what they want. To say nothing of the fact that roughly two thirds of Americans—regardless of religious affiliation—think overturning Roe was wrong.)