Supreme Court Justice Alito Raises Alarm Over Threats To Free Speech Religious Liberty On Campus

In a commencement address at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio on Saturday Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito expressed grave concerns about the state of freedom of speech and religion on American college campuses. Alito warned that these fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution are facing serious threats in the very institutions where they should be most cherished.

“Troubled waters are slamming against some of our most fundamental principles” Alito said emphasizing the importance of universities as spaces for open and reasoned debate. However he argued that few colleges truly uphold this ideal in practice stating “Support for freedom of speech is declining dangerously especially where it should find deepest acceptance.”

Alito’s comments seemed to reference the ongoing unrest on campuses where student protests against Israel’s actions in Gaza have often shut down opposing views and condemned those who side with the Jewish state. He cautioned that the erosion of free speech principles goes against core American values.

Beyond freedom of speech Alito also raised alarm about the state of religious liberty in the U.S. more broadly. Speaking to the Catholic university’s graduates he warned that they may face pressure to endorse ideas they disagree with or abandon their deeply held beliefs urging them to remain steadfast in their convictions.

“Freedom of religion is also imperiled” Alito explained. “When you venture out into the world you may well find yourself in a job or a community or a social setting when you will be pressured to endorse ideas you don’t believe or to abandon core beliefs. It will be up to you to stand firm.”

As a devout Catholic himself Alito has previously spoken out about the waning support for religious freedom in America noting instances where people of faith are labeled “bigots” for holding beliefs that oppose same-sex marriage. His latest remarks underscore his ongoing concern about the state of First Amendment rights in the nation’s institutions of higher learning and beyond.