Religious freedom becoming ‘second tier right’ warns Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has spoken of his concern that religious liberty is under threat in the United States. The justice spoke out on Thursday about a range of issues which, he said, were challenging basic legal freedoms in the country.

The justice warned that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was acting as a “stress test” for Constitutional liberties, and that religious liberty as an emerging “disfavored” and “second tier” right.

Alito made the comments on Nov. 13, in a Zoom presentation to the Federalist Society’s annual conference. The Federalist Society’s website describes the group as “an organization of 60,000 lawyers, law students, scholars, and other individuals who believe and trust that individual citizens can make the best choices for themselves and society.”

Alito has been a member of the Federalist Society for many years, and has previously addressed its conferences.

“The pandemic has obviously taken a heavy human toll,” said Alito. “Thousands dead, many more hospitalized, millions unemployed, the dreams of many small business owners dashed. But what has it meant for the rule of law?”

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