Friday, May 13, 2022


Twenty-five paragraphs into a twenty-nine-paragraph Washington Post article about Samuel Alito’s (virtual) appearance at George Mason University: the news that Alito called the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which protects LGBTQ persons from workplace discrimination, “indefensible.” Or rather, he called the use of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a basis for the decision indefensible:

While he said he wasn’t defending past actions, Alito said it was clear Congress at that time allowed and practiced discrimination.

“It is inconceivable that either Congress or voters in 1964 understood discrimination because of sex to mean discrimination because of sexual orientation, much less gender identity,” Alito said. “If Title VII had been understood at that time to mean what Bostock held it to mean, the prohibition on discrimination because of sex would never have been enacted. In fact, it might not have gotten a single vote in Congress.”
In other words, past discrimination justifies continued discrimination.

That is what’s indefensible.

comments: 2

Pete said...

So what he’s really saying is that the current Supreme Court’s responsibilities include determining what legislators (and the voting public at large) did or didn’t understand about gender and sexual orientation in 1964. And Alito claims to know exactly what the depth of that knowledge was, 58 years ago, when he was just 14 years old. (He must have been a brilliant and omniscient kid.) If that isn’t judicial activism and legislating from the bench, I don’t know what is.

I would love to hear his response after being asked, point-blank, his views on the constitutional legitimacy of emancipation and women’s suffrage. He’s rapidly becoming (or revealing himself to be) one of the most abhorrent public figures of our era.

Michael Leddy said...

Good questions. My guess is that he would say that they’re long-settled questions.But then again, that’s what certain nominees to the court said about Roe v. Wade. And there are already far-right types who don’t think women should have the vote.