Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito says that the recent decision legalizing gay marriage could have lasting implications because it redefines the legal definition of liberty.
A libertarian justice could use the definition of liberty to get rid of minimum wage laws or a socialist justice could argue in favor of a "guaranteed annual income" or "free college," he said in an interview with Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard.
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He argued that in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage decision that the Supreme Court was ruling on, that liberty was defined as a guarantee under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to be "the freedom to define your understanding of the meaning of life."
If that's the case, Alito told The Weekly Standard, "there's no limit."
The Supreme Court justice said that the Rehnquist court had worked to limit legal definitions of liberty to those that were "deeply rooted in the traditions of the country."
"But the Obergefell decision threw that out," Alito said. "It did not claim that there was a strong tradition of protecting the right to same-sex marriage. This would have been impossible to find."
Alito contends that without limits on the legal definition of liberty, that constitutional rights could be handed out by justices according to their ideological whims, which also means the nominating a justice will be more like a political election, he said.
"So we are at sea, I think. I don't know what the limits of substantive liberty protection under the 14th Amendment are at this point," Alito added.
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