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Tags: jurors | homosexuality | sin | supreme court

Justice Alito Slams Barring Jurors on Religious Views

By    |   Wednesday, 21 February 2024 12:35 PM EST

Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, in criticizing a judge's dismissal of potential jurors in a workplace discrimination case because they believed homosexuality is a sin, said he had anticipated that type of outcome when he voted against same-sex marriage in 2015.

"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 Tuesday in a five-page statement explaining why the court rejected a request to hear a Missouri case about people removed from a jury after expressing religious objections to gay relationships.

The case surrounded a lawsuit by Jean Finney, a lesbian, against her former employer, the Missouri Department of Corrections, for workplace discrimination due to her sexuality.

"I write because I am concerned that the lower court's reasoning may spread and may be a foretaste of things to come," Alito wrote.

"In this case, the court below reasoned that a person who still holds traditional religious views on questions of sexual morality is presumptively unfit to serve on a jury in a case involving a party who is a lesbian," Alito wrote. "That holding exemplifies the danger that I anticipated in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. S. 644 (2015), namely, that Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be 'labeled as bigots and treated as such' by the government. Id., at 741 (dissenting opinion). The opinion of the Court in that case made it clear that the decision should not be used in that way, but I am afraid that this admonition is not being heeded by our society."

The Supreme Court in 2015 voted 5-4 to establish the right to same-sex marriage throughout the United States and its territories.

One juror, a pastor's wife, told Finney's lawyer during voir dire that "homosexuality, according to the Bible, is a sin.

"So is gossiping, so is lying. … [N]one of us can be perfect. And so, I'm here because it's an honor to sit in here and to perhaps be a part of, you know, a civic duty."

Juror 13 "similarly stated that he believes homosexuality is a sin because 'it's in the Bible.' "

But Alito followed by noting that "every one of us here sins … It's just part of our nature. And it's something we struggle with, hopefully throughout our life. And the fact that it is a sin has really nothing to do with — in a negative way with whatever this case is going to be about."

Finney's counsel moved to strike the jurors for cause and the trial judge granted that motion.

Solange Reyner

Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, in criticizing a judge's dismissal of potential jurors in a workplace discrimination case because they believed homosexuality is a sin, said he had anticipated that type of outcome when he voted against same-sex marriage in 2015.
jurors, homosexuality, sin, supreme court
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2024-35-21
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 12:35 PM
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