U.S. Supreme Court

Alito warns of 'constitutional fault lines' in Federalist Society speech

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Samuel Alito

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. warned of “constitutional fault lines” threatening freedom of speech and religion at an opening address on Thursday at the Federalist Society convention.

Alito’s speech was a tribute to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, report the Washington Times, the Associated Press, the Huffington Post, SCOTUSblog and Reuters. The convention will feature nine people who are on President-elect Donald Trump’s list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees.

Alito said the constitutional fault lines threaten to destabilize the republic, according to the Washington Times account. One area of concern is freedom of speech, particularly on college campuses where “a new orthodoxy rules,” Alito said. The justice also referred to an effort to amend the First Amendment, a possible reference to the push to overturn the Citizens United finance ruling.

Alito said that freedom of religion “is in even greater danger” and referred to the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a case concerning a Christian pharmacy that refused to provide abortion drugs.

An even greater threat, Alito said, is created by efforts to erode the system of federalism established in the Constitution. Alito criticized attempts by federal agencies to expand their powers and an expanded definition of interstate commerce that gives additional power to Congress.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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