Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, says his Catholic faith makes him mindful of 'real world' impact of SCOTUS decisions

Justice Samuel Alito
Associate Justice Samuel Alito sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021.Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images
  • Justice Samuel Alito delivered a lecture at the Catholic University of America's law school.

  • The judge discussed how his Catholic faith influences his judicial work, according to Reuters.

  • Alito, who wrote the majority decision overturning Roe v. Wade, did not mention the landmark case.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito this week said his Catholic faith forces him to scrutinize the impact that the high court's decisions have on everyday people.

The conservative judge earlier this year penned the majority opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, effectively gutting the nearly 50-year landmark ruling that legalized abortion across the country.

Several Republican states have since banned the procedure or significantly limited access to it. As of September, at least 15 states have ended nearly all abortion services.

In the months since the reversal, people throughout the nation have started to feel its effect, including an Ohio 10-year-old who was forced to cross state lines to access abortion care in July and a parentless 16-year-old who was forced by a Florida court to have her baby because she wasn't "mature" enough to get an abortion.

Alito on Tuesday delivered the inaugural lecture for a new program at The Catholic University of America's law school called the Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, according to Reuters. In his speech, the justice discussed how his personal faith affects his judicial responsibility.

Alito acknowledged that his work as a judge can impact people "indirectly," but nonetheless, "powerfully," the outlet reported.

"It's important to keep in mind that these decisions are not abstract discussions — they have real impact on the world," he reportedly told the audience.

But notably missing from his remarks was any mention of Roe v. Wade's reversal, nor did he touch upon any of the additional hot-button cases from the court's previous session, including decisions that expanded gun rights and the federal government's ability to fight climate change.

Alito also avoided any of the criticism he's recently flung at vocal opponents of the Roe reversal, focusing his speech primarily on Catholicism and the law, according to Reuters.

His lecture comes just days before the Supreme Court is set to begin its next term.

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