Supreme Justice Samuel Alito has warned that “the pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty” and that freedom of speech is at risk of “becoming a second-tier Constitutional right.”
(Article by Claire Chretien and Victoria Gisondi republished from LifeSiteNews.com)
Speaking to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention, which was hosted online this year, Alito said, “it is an indisputable statement of fact: we have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced, for most of 2020.”
“Think of all the live events that would otherwise be protected by the right to freedom of speech, live speeches, conferences, lectures, meetings, think of worship services, churches closed on Easter Sunday, synagogues closed for Passover on Yom Kippur War.”
“Think about access to the courts, or the constitutional right to a speedy trial,” said Alito. “Trials in federal courts have virtually disappeared in many places who could have imagined that the COVID crisis has served as a sort of constitutional stress test. And in doing so it has highlighted disturbing trends that were already present before the virus struck.”
Alito shared his concern about the growing “dominance of lawmaking by executive fiat rather than legislation.” Under the umbrella of emergency and disaster declarations, non-elected experts as opposed to elected representatives have pushed for sweeping restrictions which “confer enormous executive discretion” at the expense of fundamental rights.