- THE EPOCH TIMES - Jan 31, 2021 -
Associate Justice Samuel Alito said on Sunday that he was “not surprised” by the reaction to comments he made last year about state restrictions in response to the CCP virus pandemic.
Alito, 70, told a Federalist Society virtual convention last November that he thought the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic serves as a “sort of constitutional stress test.” He argued that America has “never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive, and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020” and raised concerns over their impact on individuals’ civil liberties.
The rare public address garnered mixed reactions from lawyers, with some criticizing him for engaging in what they say is political speech.
In a statement to USA Today, Alito defended his statement, saying that the points he made in his November speech followed the same line of argument he made in a previous Supreme Court opinion he authored about the issue.
“Virtually every substantive point in the Federalist Society speech was taken from one of my published opinions or an opinion I joined,” Alito said. The justice is the court’s fourth-most senior member. He also added that he was “not surprised by the reaction.”
In one example, Alito authored a dissent—published in July last year—that raised concerns over Nevada’s decision to enforce a limit on the number of attendees at religious services during the pandemic.