Alito Receives Standing Ovation for Abortion Ruling

Barrett jokes about Dobbs demonstrations at her home
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2022 1:40 PM CST
Federalist Society Gives Standing Ovation to Alito for Dobbs
The Federalist Society hears from Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito at Union Station in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Four members of the US Supreme Court attended a Federalist Society black-tie gala last week, and all received applause. But the most rapturous reaction, which included a standing ovation, was for Justice Samuel Alito's work in overturning Roe v. Wade, Politico reports. Alito didn't mention the June decision in his speech, but an emcee did after the majority opinion's author had left the stage. "The Dobbs decision will forever be an indelible part of Justice Alito's legacy," said Steven Markham. "I don't know of any decision, on any court, by any judge, of which that judge could be more proud of that legacy," he added, eliciting another round of applause for Alito.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett amused the like-minded crowd when she joked about the demonstrations that began outside justices' homes after a draft majority opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked, suggesting the right to an abortion effectively was being repealed. "It's really nice to have a lot of noise not made by protesters outside of my house," Barrett said in her speech. The court's second-newest member is among the justices who have publicly argued the justices aren't partisan. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh attended the Thursday night event at Washington's Union Station but did not deliver speeches.

The Federalist Society's influence on the selection of Supreme Court justices is unparalleled, per CNN. The group, which was founded by conservative students and professors, vetted every justice now on the court who was picked in a Republican president's administration. Its members essentially nominated Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett to then-President Trump. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who worked with the society to win confirmation for its selections, also spoke. In his speech, Alito congratulated the group on its 40th anniversary. "Boy, is your work needed today," he said. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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