On Thursday, June 13, 2024, The New York Times published a guest essay by Marc O. DeGirolami analyzing recent criticism of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito over remarks secretly recorded by a filmmaker.

DeGirolami, a professor of law at the Catholic University of America who specializes in law and religion, sought to determine what exactly Justice Alito said that was wrong based on accounts of the recorded conversation.

According to DeGirolami’s summary, Justice Alito had a brief exchange with the filmmaker at a social event where he was approached under false pretenses. In the recording, Alito acknowledged the country’s deep political polarization but maintained compromise was still possible. He also affirmed the importance of “moral argument” and “godliness” in returning the nation to a better place.

However, DeGirolami argued nothing Justice Alito said was improper for a sitting judge. Alito did not mention any pending cases, parties, or specific political issues. His responses were largely brief affirmations to the filmmaker’s leading statements. As for criticizing his views, DeGirolami stated Alito’s comments on polarization and the role of religion in society were reasonable positions held by many Americans across the cultural spectrum.

DeGirolami also pointed out Alito made clear the Supreme Court should not be involved in resolving deep social and political divides and affirming a godly society does not preclude tolerance of disagreement. While some may disagree with Alito’s perspectives, DeGirolami found nothing in the recorded remarks that merited widespread condemnation. He suggested the intense backlash revealed the ongoing cultural tensions being played out.



Source: The New York Times