Alito Renews Threat to Overturn Marriage Equality

Trial attorneys in the U.S. frequently stop potential jurors from serving on cases based on their stated biases, but U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito indicated on Tuesday that he was disturbed by a case out of Missouri in which three people were eliminated from a jury after expressing homophobic views—and suggested the high court should reconsider marriage equality to prevent such outcomes.

The Supreme Court declined to take up Missouri Department of Corrections v. Jean Finney, with none of the justices dissenting. But Alito appeared reluctant in his agreement with the other eight justices and released a five-page statement saying the case "exemplifies the danger that I anticipated in Obergefell v. Hodges," the 2015 case in which the court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples in the U.S. had the same right to marry as heterosexual couples.

The case out of Missouri on Tuesday centered on Jean Finney, who said she faced discrimination at the state Department of Corrections (DOC) after she began a relationship with another woman.

During her court case, Finney's lawyer questioned potential jurors about their views on same-sex couples to ensure they didn't harbor a bias against the plaintiff.

The lawyer asked the potential jurors, "How many of you went to a religious organization growing up where it was taught that people that are homosexuals shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else because it was a sin with what they did?"

Three people were eliminated from consideration after stating they believed homosexuality to be a sin.

The jury ultimately sided with Finney in her case, and the state DOC asked for a re-trial, claiming the potential jurors' 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law had been violated.

After the state Supreme Court declined to take up the case, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, a Republican, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review it.

The case, said Alito in his statement, showed that "Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be 'labeled as bigots and treated as such' by the government."

The Obergefell ruling "made it clear that the decision should not be used" to discriminate against people for their religious views, wrote Alito, "but I am afraid that this admonition is not being heeded by our society."

Alito's comments come less than two years after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, also a member of the court's right-wing majority, signaled that the court should reconsider a number of rulings, including Obergefell and a case that guaranteed the right to contraception, following its overturning of Roe v. Wade.

If TOS is elected expect to see more cases to be bought up by the DOJ to be overturned by SCOTUS.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: Alito Renews Threat to Overturn Marriage Equality

Saw that earlier in the week. Alito has one vote and yes SCOTUS could revisit the Obergefelle vs Hodges decision, so we'll see who wins the 2024 presidential election in November. If Trump is elected and he has more vacancies to fill on SCOTUS, they could reverse their decision. If not then it will stand. Before Obergefelle, SCOTUS decided US vs Windsor.

And Congress passed the Respect for Marriage Act in 2022.
This act provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.

Specifically, the act replaces provisions that define, for purposes of federal law, marriage as between a man and a woman and spouse as a person of the opposite sex with provisions that recognize any marriage between two individuals that is valid under state law. (The Supreme Court held that the current provisions were unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor in 2013.)

The act also replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right or claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin. (The Supreme Court held that state laws barring same-sex marriages were unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015; the Court held that state laws barring interracial marriages were unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia in 1967.) The act allows the Department of Justice to bring a civil action and establishes a private right of action for violations.

The act does not (1) affect religious liberties or conscience protections that are available under the Constitution or federal law, (2) require religious organizations to provide goods or services to formally recognize or celebrate a marriage, (3) affect any benefits or rights that do not arise from a marriage, or (4) recognize under federal law any marriage between more than two individuals. ... -bill/8404
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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