Justice Alito Raises Serious Warning

Apr 6, 2024

Two people were booted from the jury pool solely because of their Christian beliefs.

If a person can be sued or excluded from public service over their Christian beliefs, then no one is safe. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued a serious warning on this situation.

The question that we will later present to the U.S. Supreme Court in our Kim Davis case is right in line with Justice Alito’s warning. His concern makes our effort to overturn the dreadful 2015 Obergefell opinion regarding marriage even more important. Read on to learn more about our latest U.S. Supreme Court filing. — Mat

As you may recall, Kim Davis is the humble Kentucky clerk who sought and won religious exemption rights for all Kentucky public servants. Days after the 5-4 Obergefell opinion in 2015 on “same-sex marriage,” Kim was targeted for her Christian beliefs.

While requesting religious accommodation, Kim stopped issuing all marriage licenses. Kim then became the first victim of Obergefell and was thrown in jail for six days because of her Christian faith.

The newly elected Republican governor and the Kentucky legislature eventually sided with Kim, allowing religious exemptions for all state employees. Kim’s case won back the religious freedom rights that the LGBTQ lobby had tried so hard to destroy.

“I hate that word accommodation,” plaintiff David Ermold told reporters, referring to the religious accommodation rights Kim Davis claimed to avoid violating the tenets of her faith in the performance of her duties.

In 2015, Ermold told reporters that he and his boyfriend had “never even discussed marriage” before they went to Kim’s office. They just wanted to harass, shame, and humiliate Kim for her beliefs by repeatedly travelling to Kim’s office, harassing her, and posting videos of the harassment to online social media sites. They wanted to force Kim to violate her faith, or publicly humiliate her in the process.

When Kentucky affirmed religious freedom rights and exemptions for all state employees, the men chose another way to harass Kim — by suing her into bankruptcy. Kim now faces a judgment of several hundred thousand dollars for the “hurt feelings” the men claim they experienced.

But U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s statement in a separate case is another signal the High Court may rescue Kim’s financial future and the religious freedom rights of ALL people.

In the recent case Missouri Department of Corrections v. Jean Finney, two people were excluded from jury duty because they are Christians. The case involves a lesbian woman who sued, claiming her employer fired her because she was too “masculine.”

Potential jurors were asked if they “went to a conservative Christian church” where “it was taught that people [who] are homosexua[l] shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else” because “what they did” was “a sin.”

A pastor’s wife said she believes that “homosexuality, according to the Bible, is a sin,” but “so is gossiping, so is lying.”

Another potential juror said that as a Christian, he believes that homosexuality is a sin because “it’s in the Bible. But echoing the words of the pastor’s wife, he said: “Every one of us here sins. ... It’s just part of our nature, therefore everyone deserves grace. Further, whether someone sins “has really nothing to do with” the case at hand. 

“The jurors specifically said, ‘We are Christians, we have some sincerely held Christian beliefs, but can follow the law,’” said Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey. Christians are able to follow the law just like anybody else.”

Justice Alito agreed, writing, “The [lower] court concluded that the jurors had been dismissed, not on the basis of their religious status, but on the basis of their religious beliefs. And this distinction, it said, made all the difference because, in its view, while dismissals based on a juror’s ‘status as Christians’ must comport with strict scrutiny, dismissals based on a juror’s ‘views’ need not.”

Justice Alito stated: “[This] holding exemplifies the danger that I anticipated in Obergefell v. Hodges … 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.”

Justice Alito reluctantly agreed the Court should not take the case because of procedural errors, but he expressed that dismissing jurors for their Christian beliefs even when they can act impartially raises a “very serious” issue that a future and “appropriate” case should address.

“I am concerned that the lower court’s reasoning may spread and may be a foretaste of things to come,” wrote Justice Alito. “The judiciary, no less than the other branches of State and Federal Government, must respect people’s fundamental rights, and among these are the right to the free exercise of religion and the right to the equal protection of the laws.”

Justice Alito concluded: “I see no basis for dismissing a juror for cause based on religious beliefs.”

Justice Alito is correct. Disqualifying anyone from public service, whether jury duty or an elected county clerk, over religious belief is a serious threat to religious freedom.

Just because jurors oppose murder does not disqualify them from serving on a murder trial. This case is not unlike Liberty Counsel’s Kim Davis case involving the issuance of marriage licenses. Religious freedom extends to more than just private thoughts.

Liberty Counsel is prepared to defend Kim and all Americans’ precious religious freedom all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Not only do we expect to restore religious freedom rights for ALL people, but we also intend to overturn the wrongly decided Obergefell v. Hodges that created this mess.

In the past four years, Liberty Counsel has won every case we have argued or briefed before the U.S. Supreme Court, including a rare 9-0 ruling. But we cannot do this important work without your generous support.

All donations made today will be DOUBLED in impact by a new Challenge Grant. Please, give generously.

Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman

TAKE ACTION

The LGBTQ army is working to eliminate religious freedom for ALL Americans via HR 15, which specifically eliminates religious accommodations — even for your pastor and your church! Please fax Congress and sign the petition today!


SOURCES:

Johnson, Ben. “Christians Excluded from Jury Duty? ‘We Can’t Let That Happen’: Missouri AG.” The Washington Stand, February 26, 2024. Washingtonstand.com/news/christians-excluded-from-jury-duty-we-cant-let-that-happen-missouri-ag.

Justice Alito Warns about Discriminating against Religious Beliefs. Liberty Counsel, February 27, 2024. LC.org/newsroom/details/022724-justice-alito-warns-about-discriminating-against-religious-beliefs.

“Kim Davis Will Ask Court to Reverse Verdict in Ermold Case.” Liberty Counsel, January 2, 2024. Lc.org/newsroom/details/010224-kim-davis-will-ask-court-to-reverse-verdict-in-ermold-case.

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