Poor little whiny Sammy Alito. He’s got a bigly sad. And not about abortion or reproductive rights this time. Nope. Sammy’s lamenting that his prediction opponents of marriage equality would wind up being treated as bigots. I’m serious. As far as he’s concerned a person who’s religious beliefs are that homosexuality is a sin and that same-sex marriage is too has every right to sit on a jury – that would hear a case of workplace bias against an individual base on her sexual orientation (lesbian). I don’t know about you, but if someone who says they’re devoutly religious and that “those” people are guilty of grievous sins and will spend eternity in hell if I were a judge I’d be inclined to believe they wouldn’t be impartial in this type of case.

However, according to USA Today Alito is upset that SCOTUS declined to take up the case.  Since it only takes four Justices to grant Cert that means he couldn’t even get three of his fellow Federalist Society groomed Fascists to join him in at least hearing the case.  Bear with me because this gets a bit convoluted. Alito actually, if reluctantly agreed that for other reasons the appeal should be rejected but he made a point of mentioning the religious aspect:

“When a court, a quintessential state actor, finds that a person is ineligible to serve on a jury because of his or her religious beliefs, that decision implicates fundamental rights,” he wrote.

Let’s examine the particulars of this case. I promise it won’t take long. Prospective jurors were (I’m sure) asked standard questions but as with many trials attempts are made by both sides and the judge to weed out those who might be biased one way or the other. Reasons why a potential juror might be biased can be pretty wide ranging but juries get picked every day because the process usually sorts through the specific issues involved and screens for those who are unable to set aside personal feelings – then hear evidence and reach a verdict impartially.

In this case we had a plaintiff who alleged workplace bias in her job with the Missouri Dept. of Corrections due to her sexual orientation. The whole thing wound up going to trial which meant a jury had to be selected. It stands to reason that some of the questions would explore whether regardless of any juror’s sexual orientation whether they could be objective on the subject. To give full attention to whatever evidence both sides introduced, fairly consider it all and reach an impartial verdict based on the evidence and the judge’s instructions regarding the applicable law.

The Missouri Court of Appeals looked at and addressed the questions asked of jurors and it appears appropriately focused on whether, since the plaintiff Finney’s sexual orientation was at the heart of her complaint whether they might have a bias against someone who’s sexual orientation was different than their own. Some jurors it seems were eliminated for expressing religious views about homosexuality being a sin. However other prospective jurors who identified as religious or Christian but did not express strong views on homosexuality were not eliminated.

The linked article also points out the part of the appeals court’s ruling that the Missouri Department of Corrections didn’t raise objections during the trial to dismissing the potential jurors so could not do so later. That’s why Alito “reluctantly” agreed that the correction department’s appeal should be denied.

While Alito agreed with his colleagues that the appeal should be rejected because of other factors, he criticized the trial judge’s decision to reject some jurors for their religious beliefs.

“When a court, a quintessential state actor, finds that a person is ineligible to serve on a jury because of his or her religious beliefs, that decision implicates fundamental rights,” he wrote.

You know what. I’ll bet a hundred bucks (a lot for someone like me) that if Alito was a party in (not a judge or Justice but rather a plaintiff or defendant) a religious freedom case, if lil ole me was being questioned when asked I’d have no qualms admitting I’m agnostic. I doubt there’s some creator out there that looks over the universe and that there’s a heaven or hell, at least beyond what we make of this earth and our time on it. Now, could I be fair? I think so. I’ve still got friends and acquaintances who are religious and in some cases devoutly so. I respect their beliefs and they respect mine. However, I don’t think for one second Alito would allow a “heathen” like me to sit in judgement. No freaking way.

Anyway, he’s whining. And claims this is exactly what he feared would happen. People who think like him, who believe god gives them special status to impose their personal morality on everyone else should be allowed to carry that bias into a jury box and ultimately a room where a verdict is determined. In a 2015 majority opinion on same-sex marriage Justice Kennedy said:

“The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered,” Kennedy wrote.

This is important. Buried in all that Kennedy says opponents of homosexuality and/or same-sex marriage on religious grounds are free to believe that. To teach it in their homes and churches. Hell, even to say it publicly. However, their rights are limited to speech, not imposing their beliefs on others by force. (Including say as a juror basing a verdict not on facts and the law but on religious belief that “them thar queers are going to hell and god demands I start punishing them now instead of them having to wait until they’re in hell”)

Alito in that case of course dissented, writing:

“We will soon see whether this proves to be true,” he wrote. “I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

Now Sammy is saying I told you so, and I’M saying go screw yourself you self-righteous, backwards thinking BIGOTED F**K! You and your ilk are free to think and even talk like bigots. I don’t like it but that’s one of the prices I know have to be paid for freedom. What I and others DON’T have to tolerate, much less accept is your creation of and advocacy for some type of right to be able to coerce others into your way of thinking, or to punish (especially via the law and the courts) others who don’t agree with you.

If you and your pals don’t like being called out for being the BIGOTS that you are then STFU, or at least keep it amongst yourselves.  But don’t go throwing a toddler tantrum when you don’t get to talk, and especially act like a bigot and people criticize you. Tell you what Sammy. Go comb through your bible, and cite me all the passages where Jesus talks about homosexuality. I’ll wait. Until the day I freaking DIE because he doesn’t mention it once. Much less condemn it.

You know Sammy, if you and folks like you find gay sex “icky” then here’s a wild suggestion. Don’t engage in it. And stop obsessing about it! I realize sometimes you’re confronted with the fact their are gay people and they have sex. It doesn’t mean you have to think about it. Most of us find something else, ANYTHING else when the subject of our parents having had sex (how else did we get here) is mentioned. Learn to treat gay sex that way. Just turn your thoughts to something else.

And for damned sure keep your religious beliefs and practices out of your job as a Justice.

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  1. That’s the problem – Sammy can’t conceive of anyone not imposing their religious beliefs on every one else. While I don’t usually wish misfortune on others, due to their beliefs, God can call him home any day now.

  2. “Go comb through your bible, and cite me all the passages where Jesus talks about homosexuality.”

    I’d go one better and demand to know how many of the HUNDREDS of things that are deemed “abominations to God” (not, interestingly, a more personal “to me” or “before me”; the Ten Commandments begins “I am the Lord Thy God; Thou shalt have no other gods before me”) Alito follows or adheres to in his daily life. Such as the dietary laws. Jesus didn’t say, “You know that thing about eating pigs and shellfish? Go ahead. God doesn’t really care about that.” (That was actually Paul and he was responding to a situation of “Is it better to break the dietary laws or starve to death,” and Paul’s answer was “break the dietary laws.” He was NOT saying “Eat what you want any time.”) Or what about his clothing? I trust there are no “mixed fibers” in his closet, and I’m not really sure what the Bible’s stance on polyester and other synthetic fibers might be. And what’s his stance on unruly children? When does he believe a parent can kill an unruly kid? Terrible twos? Four? Not till the “rebellious teens?” And how’s he going to reconcile “religious freedom” as expressed in the First Amendment and the Bible’s proscription that “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live?” I also wonder if his Communion comes with grape juice or the more traditional wine? Leviticus 10:9 clearly commands against wine or “strong drink” in “the temple.” (And the Last Supper was NOT held in a temple but pretty much every Communion *is* conducted inside a “temple”–at least, the Christian take on a temple. Christ never says anything about repeating the Communion ceremony.)
    But, Alito’s a typical conservative hypocrite.

  3. Hey! Sammy! You want to know WHY opponents of marriage equality are labeled bigots? Because the f*cking are bigots. This must be alito’s “hold my beer while I say something stupider than thomas” moment. Conservative is truly another word for f*cking brain-dead. Someone needs to update Roget’s.


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