(NewsNation) — Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito poked at multiple foreign leaders’ criticism of the high court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case, ending constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years.
Alito authored the opinion, which has sparked protests and pushback nationwide. Alito, in the final opinion issued in July, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.
The justice spoke at the Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Summit in Rome last week, pointing to a “narrowing” of religious speech in the judicial decisions in other countries. Alito said he was not planning on addressing the case in his remarks, but changed his mind given the comments.
“I’ve had a few second thoughts over the last few weeks since I had the honor this term of writing I think the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been lambasted by a whole string of foreign leaders who felt perfectly fine commenting on American law,” Alito said, according to the Hill.
He said one leader who commented was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but Johnson “paid the price,” jokingly referring to his decision to step down as prime minister.
Alito noted criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but said he was particularly “wounded” when the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, seemed to compare the decision with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during a speech to the United Nations.
The Duke of Sussex gave a speech in June, calling it a “rolling back of constitutional rights” in the United States.
Joining Alito in supporting the decision were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices were appointed by former President Donald Trump. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.
The Associated Press and the Hill contributed contributed to this report.