Day 16: April 22nd, 2015: 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting for Marriage & for the U.S. Supreme Court
April 22, 2015
The just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him. Pr 20:7
Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. was born on April 1, 1950 in Trenton, New Jersey. Alito received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1972. Following his graduation, Alito was commissioned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps and assigned to the Army Reserve. He went on to attend Yale Law School, becoming editor of the Yale Law Journal and graduating in 1975. Following his graduation, Alito clerked for Judge Leonard I. Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and then went on to work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. In 1981, he became an Assistant to the Solicitor General, arguing twelve cases before the Supreme Court. He went on to serve as a Deputy Assistant to the Attorney General and later became the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. In February 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush nominated Alito to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; he was confirmed unanimously in April of that year. In 2005, after White House Counsel Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination, then-President George W. Bush nominated Alito to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. By a vote of fifty-eight to forty-two, the Senate confirmed Alito in January 2006 (Bios: Official; ScotusBlog; Wiki).
Before he was seated on the high court, Justice Alito held firmly to a pro-life view of the Constitution. He said "We should make clear that we disagree with Roe v. Wade and would welcome the opportunity to brief the issue of whether, and if so to what extent, that decision should be overruled." But when under constant grilling by Senate Democrats during his confirmation hearings, trying to get him to say Roe v. Wade was “settled law,” Alito would only say:
What I have said about Roe is that if it were -- if the issue were to come before me, if I’m confirmed and I’m on the Supreme Court and the issue comes up, the first step in the analysis for me would be the issue of stare decisis (legal precedent). And that would be very important. If I were to get beyond that, I would approach that question the way I approach every legal issue that I approach as a judge, and that is to approach it with an open mind and to go through the whole judicial process, which is designed, and I believe strongly in it, to achieve good results, to achieve good decision-making.
In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Alito wrote the majority opinion ruling against the HHS Mandate and in favor of Hobby Lobby on the basis of their religious objection to providing insurance that covered abortifacient drugs. The landmark case provides for closely held (e.g., family owned) businesses to be treated as persons under the Religious Freedom Reformation Act.
As to marriage, Justice Alito joined Clarence Thomas in a dissenting opinion against the majority in U.S. v. Windsor, which voted to strike down the federal part of the Defense of Marriage Act. They wrote, “same-sex marriage presents a highly emotional and important question of public policy – but not a difficult question of constitutional law… The Constitution does not guarantee the right to enter into a same-sex marriage” (CNS News).
- Pray that Justice Alito will hold fast to his integrity on the matter of marriage. Pray that he will be even stronger than in the past, and that he will be a powerful influence on his colleagues.
- May each of these Justices be reminded of the truths of their own faith tradition and teaching. For those of Jewish faith, may they consider the clear teaching of Genesis on marriage (1:26-28; 2:18-25) and of Leviticus on homosexual behavior (18:22; 20:13). For those of Catholic faith, may they consider the words of the Lord Jesus, who quoted Genesis on marriage between one man and one woman and concluded: “What God, therefore, hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) and the words of Saint Paul on homosexual behavior, which is a sin people can repent of and be delivered from by the grace of God (Rom 1:26-27, 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:8-10).
- May each consider that the Founders, who firmly opposed homosexual behavior, would never have imagined that the founding documents even suggested any right to same-sex “marriage,” and therefore no legitimate interpretation of the Constitution should confer special status to those who engage in it.
- May the Holy Spirit awaken a fear of God in each of the Justices, reminding them of the truths of Scripture. May their consciences be stirred and may their ruling serve to re-awaken the consciences of all Americans that we should view marriage between one man and one woman as a sacred union that should be protected and encouraged by government.
Thank you for praying!
P.S. View or download all 21 Daily Prayers for Marriage as they are edited and posted to the Call2Fall Blog. Please visit these sites and participate in the events!