May 30, 2020

"Last night the Supreme Court declined to intervene in challenges by churches in southern California and the Chicago area to stay-at-home orders issued as a result of the COVID-19 crisis...."

"The court issued only a terse order in the Illinois case that referred to the new guidance issued by the state earlier this week. But the justices were closely divided in the California case, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote and writing a late-night opinion to explain his decision to deny relief. The California case was filed on Tuesday by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church, which is located in Chula Vista, California – just south of San Diego. The church argued that the reopening plan outlined by California Governor Gavin Newsom and San Diego County discriminated against houses of worship by keeping them closed while allowing retail stores, offices, restaurants and schools to open.... At approximately 6:30 p.m. ET, the justices turned down the request from the Illinois churches without any public dissents.... The justices did not act on the California case until nearly midnight on Friday. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh indicated that they would have granted the church’s request. Roberts wrote a short opinion to express his agreement with (and to explain) the denial of the church’s request..... The California order at the heart of this case, he observed, temporarily restricts the number of people who can gather in public 'to address this extraordinary health emergency.'... The state has limited the size of similar, non-religious gatherings like plays, concerts and sporting events. Although the state treats activities like grocery stores and banks differently, Roberts continued, those activities are in fact different, because they do not involve large groups of people coming together in close proximity for extended periods of time. 'The precise question of when restrictions on particular social activities should be lifted during the pandemic,' Roberts reasoned, 'is a dynamic and fact-intensive matter subject to reasonable disagreement.'"

SCOTUSblog reports.

Here's the PDF of the Roberts opinion.

Here's the dissenting opinion written by Justice Kavanaugh. Excerpt:

To justify its discriminatory treatment of religious worship services, California must show that its rules are “justified by a compelling governmental interest” and “narrowly tailored to advance that interest.”... California undoubtedly has a compelling interest in combating the spread of COVID–19 and protecting the health of its citizens.... What California needs is a compelling justification for distinguishing between (i) religious worship services and (ii) the litany of other secular businesses that are not subject to an occupancy cap. California has not shown such a justification. The Church has agreed to abide by the State’s rules that apply to comparable secular businesses. That raises important questions: “Assuming all of the same precautions are taken, why can someone safely walk down a grocery store aisle but not a pew? And why can someone safely interact with a brave deliverywoman but not with a stoic minister?”...
The distinction Roberts made is that grocery shopping and deliveries don't involve "large groups of people coming together in close proximity for extended periods of time." Kavanaugh doesn't address that distinction.

67 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

What is the rule if the delivery person is cowardly?

Matt Sablan said...

Althouse states: "The distinction Roberts made is that grocery shopping and deliveries don't involve "large groups of people coming together in close proximity for extended periods of time." Kavanaugh doesn't address that distinction."

In the dissent, Kavanaugh says: "The basic constitutional problem is that comparable secular businesses are not subject to a 25% occupancy cap, including factories, offices, supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores, pharmacies, shopping malls, pet grooming shops, bookstores, florists, hair salons, and cannabis dispensaries."

So, I think he does address the distinction, but not as clearly as may be needed. I'd say by including places like hair salons, offices, factories and book stores, they are addressing that churches are not that different, because all of those places, you're going to have people in close proximity as long, if not longer, than churches. Why can a factory run at full occupancy for a full shift, but a church can't hold an hour-ish long service at full capacity ("But the Church objects to a 25% occupancy cap that is imposed on religious worship services but not imposed on those comparable secular businesses.")

Oso Negro said...

Clearly, Justice Roberts has not been to a Home Depot in the past two months.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Great legal brain - Kavanaugh

but I say - why is it OK for Biden and Hillary to lie and cheat and stuff their family fortunes with ill gotten gains based on their connections and power IN GOVERNMENT?

Matt Sablan said...

Huh. Roberts cites: "And the Order exempts or treats more leniently only dissimilar activities, such as operating grocery stores, banks, and laundromats, in which people neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods."

But he doesn't mention the same things Kavanaugh did (bookstores, hair salons, shopping malls, offices, factories). It's really weird that they list different activities. If you only read Roberts' list, you totally miss out the ones that are similar to churches.

Mark said...

Roberts wrote a short opinion to express his agreement with (and to explain) the denial of the church’s request..

This is categorically FALSE. Roberts wrote for himself -- and only himself. No one else joined his concurring opinion. He did not speak for the Court or for the other four who voted to deny the application for an injunction.

Those other four had their own reasons for why they voted to deny relief. Roberts' opinion, which is only the opinion of ONE justice, is NOT an explanation of their reasoning.

rhhardin said...

The difference is the high infection rate from singing and extended time together. One guy infects a lot of people, and that over many churches.

reader said...

He obviously never shopped at Costco pre-pandemic.

Mark said...

The distinction Roberts made is that grocery shopping and deliveries don't involve "large groups of people coming together in close proximity for extended periods of time." Kavanaugh doesn't address that distinction.

More mischaracterization of the case. Kavanaugh DID address the matter and he said that churches and those things are similarly situated, i.e. no appreciable distinction. He said -- "The basic constitutional problem is that comparable secular businesses are not subject to a 25% occupancy cap, including factories, offices, supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores, pharmacies, shopping malls, pet grooming shops, bookstores, florists, hair salons, and cannabis dispensaries."

rcocean said...

Once again Roberts votes with the liberal bloc. He does that a lot. Thanks Bush! I shudder to think what the SCOTUS would be like, if we'd put his girlfriend on the the court. Good thing Coulter and other REAL Conservatives forced him to put Alioto on instead.

Ann Althouse said...

Roberts clearly stated the distinction. Kavanaugh ought to have addressed it head on. It's the key issue here, so I am disappointed in his performance.

Ann Althouse said...

The first question is whether this is a discrimination based on religion. You have to nail that down before you do your analysis of whether there's a narrowly tailored compelling governmental interest.

Michael K said...

Pretty soon, Christian churches will be meeting in secret, just like in China.

mccullough said...

The problem is the 9 headed Caesar knows nothing of the virus. In fairness, the Exoerts don’t know much more.

Implicit in Roberts argument is that the virus is less likely to spread among customers of supermarkets and banks and weed shops because they are moving around the store and aren’t congregating with others (at least not much).

Implicit in Kavanaugh’s argument is that it makes no difference to the virus. If people are indoors, whether they are sitting 8 feet apart or walking in the aisles or standing at the checkout six feet apart makes no difference to the virus.


If Kavanaugh implicit argument is right, then he’s right. This is discrimination against religion.

Big Mike said...

What Kavanaugh needed to address was the dissimilar treatment of Muslims and mosques vice Jews and synagogues and Christians and churches. Or does a California close down mosques, too?

reader said...

Look at the size of the parking lot of the average Costco or Home Depot, they are much larger than the size of the average church parking lot.

narciso said...

he found for obamacare he found for gay marriage, and he found for this velvet gloved tyranny, which manages to kill old people by the scores, odd how that works,

Lucien said...

I think the key issue ought to be when rule by decree, justified by a claim of “emergency” stops being “due process of law”. The focus of inquiry ought to be whether the legislature involved has clearly had a reasonable opportunity to address the putative emergency through legislation that can then be assessed under established standards. California’s legislators have clearly had more than a reasonable period of time within which to craft legislation addressing COVID19.
The fact that the legislators are too cowardly to vote up or down on such legislation should not affect this analysis. There is no exception in the Constitution for legislators who abdicate their role.

reader said...

Costco had to limit the number of people allowed inside because people were fighting over (perceived) scarce resources. The parking lots remained full. Same number of people just split between inside and out. But now the average shopping trip was longer.

Wince said...

Whatever your view of the case on the merits, it should be noted that the court is being asked for emergency injunctive relief, and that an "indisputably clear" standard applies to granting such relief.

Roberts: That is especially true where, as here, a party seeks emergency relief in an interlocutory posture, while local officials are actively shaping their response to changing facts on the ground. The notion that it is “indisputably clear” that the Government’s limitations are unconstitutional seems quite improbable.

Narayanan said...

Ann Althouse said...
The first question is whether this is a discrimination based on religion.
----------===========

I will ask first : is it clear the COVID19 order is based on science? how does that get resolved? before Government exercise power?

Jersey Fled said...

"The difference is the high infection rate from singing and extended time together."

I call BS on this.

1. Churches could chose not to sing. Would it be OK to hold services then? How about if only two people sing?

2. Go out in you backyard, put your hand 6 inches from your face, and sing as loud as you can. When your neighbors stop laughing, tell me what you felt. Spoiler: nothing.

And yes, I know that choir director organizations make the claim that singing can transmit diseases. More experts. I trust these groups about the same as I do the American Library Association, one of the most liberal groups in the country.

And show me the randomized double blind studies that the left wants to hold everything Trump says to.

Then maybe I'll believe it. And stop singing in church.

doctrev said...

Kavanaugh didn't bother talking about discrimination based on religion, for the obvious fact that governments hand out masks to rioters (!!) while closing churches. Go ahead, argue the public health aspects of that. Discrimination on its face, and in service of illegal activity.

What interests me is that a very small religious minority makes up the majority of the votes to restrict religious service. Sure, there were two Catholic votes upholding restrictions (including a so-called Republican, further cementing the Bush legacy of hate against Christians), but there were Catholic votes against as well. Three non-Christian votes against the right of churches to operate, though.

So much for freedom of religion.

Yancey Ward said...

The problem with Roberts' opinion is the same one all the arguments to date supporting the restrictions have- there is no limit what the states can now do as long as they claim to have a compelling reason, and "compelling" is a purely relative term.

Without a very effective vaccine, any governor can simply keep the restrictions indefinitely, even if the actual number of cases of COVID-19 drops to zero- one can always claim that preventing a new outbreak is a compelling governmental interest.

At some point, Roberts will be forced to retract this position, and based solely on his own definition of what is not compelling any longer.

Levi Starks said...

The problem is that this decision sets an “in effect” president that any governmental organization can restrict any behavior for any reason it finds compelling enough to public safety.
And requires that the offended party “individual citizen” challenge (all the way to the Supreme Court). A restriction with which they disagree.
And on that basis it’s not a fair fight.
Government is only ever required to defend, and citizens must always be the aggressors.
And government always has superior legal resources to the individual.

Inga said...

When my delivery man or woman comes into my doorway and starts singing loudly and /or talking for 45 minutes in a loud voice, it’ll resemble what occurs during a church service a bit more closely. Walking through a store, or having a delivery person deliver food or groceries is not accurately comparable to sitting in a confined church and engaging in singing and extended periods of time with even just one person speaking at length. Then there is speaking to each other before services and after, it’s a congregation of people in confined spaces that is at the crux of the matter. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Wince said...

"The state has limited the size of similar, non-religious gatherings like plays, concerts and sporting events."

Mark said...

The problem with Roberts' opinion . . .

The problem with more and more of Roberts' opinions is that Andy Dufresne has some questions for him.

Mark said...

Regarding singing, we need to be data driven and science based.

And the data and the science from CDC and WHO state that there is no great danger from singing a few hymns when you are spaced apart.

People who say otherwise need to get current.

Sebastian said...

"'The precise question of when restrictions on particular social activities should be lifted during the pandemic,' Roberts reasoned, 'is a dynamic and fact-intensive matter subject to reasonable disagreement.'""

But that evades the key issue: why should some social activities, the sociality of which does not materially differ from any others, be singled out for restrictions?

Roberts is a disappointing wimp.

DEEBEE said...

Just like Roberts’ flip-flop on O’care — a tax, not a tax, awaiting his insight into considering religious and grocery activities to be the same.

Charlie Currie said...

But I was assured by experts that wearing a mask protects you from everything. Apparently not in churches, though.

Charlie Currie said...

Masks are to be worn when one is within six feet of another person or persons. Six feet one quarter inch and you're golden - no mask required.

Richard Dolan said...

What divides Roberts and Kavanaugh is not a disagreement on the legal requirements so much as a disagreement about whether to act in this procedural posture (no developed record and essentially a request by the movant for all the relief they could obtain if they won on the merits) as well as certain assumptions about the key facts.

On the procedural point, Roberts clearly has the better of it. As he says, many cases say that you can't get complete relief essentially resolving the case on a preliminary injunction motion except in the most extraordinary circumstances where there is no good faith dispute about the controlling facts. It's almost a summary judgment standard, although not expressed in those terms.

Kavanaugh knows that rule as well as anyone but thinks the dispositive facts are not disputed: "Importantly, the Church is willing to abide by the State’s rules that apply to comparable secular businesses, including the rules regarding social distancing and hygiene. But the Church objects to a 25% occupancy cap that is imposed on religious worship services but not imposed on those comparable secular businesses." For him, the State's safety rules should apply to the churches in the same way they apply to secular businesses -- and the word "comparable" is doing a lot of the work in that sentence.

On that point, Roberts suggests that the churches and secular businesses may not be comparable -- that's the bit about crowds coming together for an "extended period" in churches but not laundromats that AA criticizes Kavanaugh for not addressing directly. Perhaps so, but (i) whether there will be crowds at a religious service is a guess about what will happen (what the church will allow to happen) in the future if they were not subject to the 25% occupancy cap; and (ii) given the large number of secular businesses exempt from the 25% occupancy cap, it seems quite dubious that some of them might not also experience crowding.

Who gets tagged with whatever flows from that uncertainty about the facts, turning as it does on a guess about what would happen in the future? AA says that, without a clear showing that the churches are similarly situated with the secular businesses on that metric, the churches lose because there is no showing of actual discrimination against religion. That assumes that the metric is (or could be on a developed record) dispositive even if (i) the State's distancing and masking rules were scrupulously observed (as the churches say they will do, and the State did not dispute), and (ii) where there is nothing (could never be anything) to show factually how crowded the churches would be (would allow themselves to become) if they were subject to the same safety rules as the secular entities but no occupancy cap.

I think Kavanaugh has the better of that disagreement, and would not accept an assumption about potential crowding as sufficient to justify the disparate treatment of religious vs. secular entities here. This is quite different from a case where the churches in fact engaged in practices that the State could reasonably show were potentially harmful (and which the State's rules would not allow secular entities to engage in). That would be a case which, on Kavanaugh's reasoning, the churches would lose.

Birkel said...

Roberts continues to prove what an awful president George W Bush was.
Like father, like son.

The country is well rid of the Bush family.

Ann Althouse said...

I taught the course "Religion and the Constitution" for 15 years. I can imagine giving an exam with this hypothetical, giving the students a text that corresponds to what Roberts wrote and saying you are a law clerk for a Justice who wants to dissent, draft the opinion. I would be very disappointed to see Kavanaugh's opinion as an answer.

Kai Akker said...

There's a reason he's the chief justice. Like it or not, Roberts' reasoning seemed convincing to me. The brevity also worked in his opinion's favor, IMO.

langford peel said...

The gradual destruction of religious freedom began with gay marriage where religion and religious practicing people were forced to accept people and behavior that was anathema for thousands of years. at the time we said it would lead to government attacking and attempting to destroy religion and religious people.

Now we have cops in Chicago banging on the doors of churches attempting to arrest worshipers. Now it is sanctioned by the Supreme Court

The government has is knee on the neck of people of faith.

Yancey Ward said...

On the science, Kavanaugh is surely correct- going to the grocery story or any retail building is going to be the equivalent of going to church once a week. Remember, in the grocery store, you aren't being exposed to only the people in the building for the 20 minutes you are there- you are being exposed to all the people that were there in the 6-12 hours preceding your visit. Religious services are being tarred by anecdotal data. For every religious event that you can definitively tie to X-number of COVID-19 cases, you are ignoring from where 10,000X cases arose. In fact, there is more anecdotal evidence that restaurants are a bigger source of infections.

On principle alone, Kavanaugh wins this hands down, but procedurely, perhaps Roberts has the better of it. What bothers me about Roberts' opinion, though, is that it puts the onus on the plaintiffs, not the government (as a commenter above noted).

Narayanan said...

Ann Althouse said...
I taught the course "Religion and the Constitution" for 15 years. I can imagine giving an exam with this hypothetical, giving the students a text that corresponds to what Roberts wrote and saying you are a law clerk for a Justice who wants to dissent, draft the opinion. I would be very disappointed to see Kavanaugh's opinion as an answer.
5/30/20, 12:06 PM
----------============
Are you picking Roberts text for your exam because he is in majority and/or you agree with it?

How about switching to opposite Kavanaugh text scenario and preparing "future SC caliber brains" to generate Roberts level response? Would that be student surpasses teacher or disappoints teacher?

Mosques are in unusual cultural-political-tradition/situation/context because under Islam they are State sanctioned and beholden to "Caesar/Caliph" : meaning they would never need to assert 1A freedom or relief in a Court Forum.

Michael K said...

Ann, your comment on a "hypothetical" says much more about you than about Kavanaugh. I don't even have a dog in this fight as I am agnostic.

Watching the culture destroyed, though.

langford peel said...

There is no justification to limiting the free and unrestricted exercise of religion. None. It was what our country was founded on and the bedrock of our Constitution.

We have seen that the police would not protect the free practice of our religion.

Now we have seen the Courts will not respect our Constitutional rights.

In1844 during anti catholic riots Bishop John Hughes lead his people in the streets to protect their churches and their rights. He was in the front line with a shillelagh in his hand. He said that he would burn down the city if they were attacked. If their rights to worship were curtailed in the name of civic order.

The way our rights are being abrogated today.

We need that type of leadership now. It seems the government only responds to violence.

Matt Sablan said...

"When my delivery man or woman comes into my doorway and starts singing loudly and /or talking for 45 minutes in a loud voice, it’ll resemble what occurs during a church service a bit more closely."

-- What about if you work in an enclosed space for a full shift or go to a book store where you can browse for hours on end or go to a salon where appointments can last for up to an hour according to some people who use salons. It's a real shame you didn't *bother to read Kavanaugh's entire statement* to see that California wasn't just saying "yeah, you can throw a package over a fence or something real quick," they're opening entire sections of the economy back up.

hombre said...

Home Depot has the same First Amendment protection as the churches. Who knew?

narciso said...

which science the bogus imperial college model same with ihme, the flawed lancet study that proscribes the use of hcq by leaving out zinc from the protocols,

traditionalguy said...

Blarney with malarkey reasons added by the noble 5 votes that will break the Bill of Rights every chance they get to do it. As usual, it is Christian churches in assembly together Speaking God’s Word that are the only risk that cannot be allowed for any excuse by the State Church of Scientific Atheists.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Courts, including SCOTUS, are saying that it is permissible to restrict or prohibit citizens exercising constitutionally recognized rights (worship, assembly). In other settings, courts hold that restrictions must meet strict scrutiny, the highest standard, as in forbidding speech that incites imminent violence or shouting Fire in a theater. There is an analogy to strict scrutiny in medicine, the prospective, randomized, blinded trial. This results in what docs call Class 1 evidence, and is considered the ideal when determining a standard of care. Less rigorous studies, including observational studies, use of historical controls, or case control studies, are useful but result in Class 2 or 3 evidence, and are considered less convincing. The lowest category, expert opinion, is when professors of medicine tell us how they do it, but with no studies to support their positions.
It would be reasonable, and supportable, for courts to require the medical analog of strict scrutiny, i.e, Class 1 evidence, before allowing a governmental entity to restrict constitutional rights based on medical concerns. What we have today is less than expert opinion, and is leading to a loss of faith in the whole house of cards.
Next time, there may be a virus with an R nought of 10 and a case fatality rate of 10%. Few will pay attention to it, based on information that will be derived from the current matter, and catastrophic losses will result as we do in fact run short of ventilators, hospital beds, medications, nurses, and doctors next time.
I don't think this is a trial run by our adversaries, but I do know that our adversaries will learn from it.

Wince said...

Just thinking through the layers here, which can be confusing. (Professor, correct me if I'm wrong.)

The US Supreme Court standard of review here for granting an emergency injunction against a state is an "indisputably clear" violation of a constitutional right by a state. Respecting federalism, that's the only way SCOTUS can intervene directly to enjoin a state for a violation of constitutional rights before the case is first adjudicated in a lower court.

On first glance, when compared with the increasing numbers of nationwide injunctions issued by cherry-picked district court judges who apply a lesser "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law" standard of review, one might ask whether SCOTUS has less power than these lower courts.

One has to remember, however, that those nationwide injunctions usually involve executive rule-making pursuant to federal statutes. And Congress, through the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), expressly granted to the lower federal courts this subject matter jurisdiction and standard of review. Hence, this is the lower federal courts exercising jurisdiction over the federal government, as distinct from an individual state, as enabled by congress in the APA statute.

That grant of authority under the APA does not mean that such nationwide injections issued under that authority are legitimate, however. Whether such injunctions should extend beyond the parties to the case or beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of the court is an open question and likely the subject of future legislation.

stephen cooper said...

I don't like to say this about people generally on my side, on an occasion when I disagree with them, because it sounds like I am saying something spiteful just out of disagreement.
and his latest is far from his worst, from the point of view of doing his job competently.

That being said ....

... after years of reflection, this is what I think of our poor Chief Justice ..
I wish there were a clear way to say that while Roberts was clearly intelligent enough to graduate from a good law school and impress his teachers, and to impress the relevant power-brokers with connections in the federal judiciary, he is just not very bright. His instincts or his unthinking predilections are usually (not always) ok, but his reasoning is almost always that of a person with no wisdom and no experience of what it means to have actually understood the issues he is addressing.

Wince said...

Now, as I read further, not only states but federal statutes are accorded the "indisputably clear" standard when emergency injunctions are sought, pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. Sec 1651(a), "a power that the Court had consistently applied sparingly and only in cases where they thought the legal rights were 'indisputably clear'.”

Readering said...

Imagine Roberts wanted to stick with one sentence order, but felt obliged that there be something matching the dissent and best it come from CJ. Interesting that Alito dissented, but did not join Kavanaugh opinion. Access to draft on both sides may have played part. Of course a rushed job, with Court also evaluating Illinois order that got mooted just earlier.

Readering said...

Roberts' list of comparable venues much more persuasive than Kavanaugh's. Even without added factor of group speech and especially group singing.

Mark said...

A MAJOR problem is that too many government officials imposing the lockdown, the Chief Justice, and at least one retired law professor are utterly lacking in any understanding of what religion generally, and Judaism and especially Christianity, particularly Catholicism, are all about.

In many cases it is not a question of malice, but of ignorance.

That ignorance is not helped by their pretensions to having some kind of experience in the field.

Michael K said...

What would be really exciting if any lefty Governor tried to do this to a mosque.

No chance, though. Those lefty Governors want to keep their heads in place.

R. Duke said...

Funny, neither opinion addresses whether the 'occupancy cap' or and of this social distancing bullshit is scientifically supported or has any basis at all. Everyone just seems to be assuming it's been proven somehow. It should be a threshold question. Can something with no empirical basis be "narrowly tailored to …"yada
It is amazing to me how people are so unquestioning.

iowan2 said...

Sounds like the governors gave the nod and averted their eyes with "operate at ?% capacity" wording. (Our local Menards has a posted maximum allowed as 500 shopers(does not count employees)) That capacity is defined as?? Fire code is a nice government defined number. There are also multiple defined spaces is churches. Overflow areas that can be opened up, or included in the total capacity number. I am still wondering how the government is going to apply penalties to churches. Fines, jail time for who? Liens?

stephen cooper said...

To be fair, I also think of Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior, and even Robert Jackson, as clever men with second rate minds who did not always understand the issues they were talking about, and were usually NOT AWARE OF THAT.

To put this in context, I have nothing negative to say about Samuel Alito, Learned Hand, or Clarence Thomas, all of whom know what they are saying and know how to say it, unlike poor Chief Justice Roberts. (I am only mentioning male appellate judges because most people have never heard of the female appellate judges whom I admire).

Well, this was not my usual sort of comment. I Promise that next time I comment the subject matter will be less unexpected ---- I have been thinking a lot recently about the beautiful last 12 chapters of Isaiah, beginning with chapter 55, with the BEST RHETORICAL DEVICE ever
(God tells the prophet to tell the people ---- My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways) --- that, my friends, is very good news.

rsbsail said...

What are they going to do if people disregard the orders to not congregate in churches? Arrest them? Give them tickets?

iowan2 said...

Roberts' list of comparable venues much more persuasive than Kavanaugh's. Even without added factor of group speech and especially group singing.

Yea, I think Roberts was hurried and missed those handful of research papers published in
The Lancet that exposed Choirs as the death sentences, that Nursing homes are not.

iowan2 said...

Of course the restrictions as instituted and defined by the infectious disease experts, were careful to point out, restrictions on personal movements, would not prevent death, or lessen the overall infection numbers.
The restrictions are designed to spread out the infections over time so as not to overwhelm health care facilities.

Now explain again what the Governor is protecting, by squashing enumerated rights and SCOTUS us allowing. Science says it is NOT preventing infections/death.

Readering said...

John Roberts was considered the finest Supreme Court advocate of his generation before his appointment to the DC Circuit by W.

Amadeus 48 said...

I am going with the William Goldman alternative. Nobody knows anything. All I can tell you I lived through at least two other deadly pandemics—both worse than this one by many measures— and I didn’t even notice.

Based on my experience all government orders here are suspect because they reflect only different opinions, not knowledge.

The things that I was told in January, February, March and April have turned out to be wrong. New York’s largest hospital system says that thousands were killed by the use of ventilators. No one wants to face up to their ignorance.

Let these folks go to church.

bagoh20 said...

The science is not addressed, and that should be primary to the reasoning. Which is more dangerous: shopping in a Walmart visited by thousands of people for a hundred hours a week, or a church visited by a hundred people for an hour a week - and the same group of people every week, who are mostly sitting with the same people they shelter in place with?

stephen cooper said...

Readering - no he wasn't.

A few second-rate people from his law school made that claim.

You cannot quote anyone who really understood the issues as having made that claim about Roberts.

readering said...

From 2005, when Judge Roberts was noinee to USSC:

NINA TOTENBERG reporting:

Some say that John Roberts is the finest appellate lawyer of his generation. He's argued 39 cases in the US Supreme Court, winning the majority of them. The handful of lawyers who might reasonably be called his competitors say remarkably the same things about his style. Here, for example, is Ted Olsen, who served as the Bush administration's chief advocate in the Supreme Court for four years.

Mr. TED OLSEN (Supreme Court Advocate, Bush Administration): He has a very soft-spoken, conversational tone and demeanor so that when he is arguing, it is as if he is having a conversation with the justices and they like that. They don't like to be read to or preached to or orated at. They like to have a conversation and John was perfect at that.

TOTENBERG: And here's Walter Dellinger, who served in the same position in the Clinton administration.

Mr. WALTER DELLINGER (Supreme Court Advocate, Clinton Administration): He's very conversational with the court without being too informal. His arguments are always directly engaging the justices and never his own oratory.

ken in tx said...

I think this is a case of the court being asked to rule on whether something is a good idea or not. I don't think that the court's job. They should rule on whether it is legal or not, nothing else.

Unknown said...

Roberts is such a disappointment

Just a typical liberal legislator

He believes in government

Not the individual

another Sooter