November 26, 2020

"It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues and mosques."

Wrote Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, in his concurring opinion, quoted in "Splitting 5 to 4, Supreme Court Backs Religious Challenge to Cuomo’s Virus Shutdown Order/Justice Amy Coney Barrett played a decisive role in the decision, which took the opposite approach of earlier court rulings related to coronavirus restrictions in California and Nevada" (NYT).

It was 5 to 4, not 6 to 3, because Chief Justice Roberts voted with the liberal members of the Court. He wrote: “Numerical capacity limits of 10 and 25 people, depending on the applicable zone, do seem unduly restrictive... It is not necessary, however, for us to rule on that serious and difficult question at this time. The governor might reinstate the restrictions. But he also might not. And it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic. If the governor does reinstate the numerical restrictions the applicants can return to this court, and we could act quickly on their renewed applications."

Unlike Roberts, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Elena Kagan, reached the substance of the claim and found  no violation of rights:  “States may not discriminate against religious institutions, even when faced with a crisis as deadly as this one. But those principles are not at stake today. The Constitution does not forbid states from responding to public health crises through regulations that treat religious institutions equally or more favorably than comparable secular institutions, particularly when those regulations save lives.” 

That is, no one is saying that the government can discriminate between religion and nonreligion. It must treat comparable activities the same, but the question is what is comparable. They're disagreeing about whether religious services are like stores. That's what the parties were arguing about:

[L]awyers for the diocese argued that its “spacious churches” were safer than many “secular businesses that can open without restrictions, such as pet stores and broker’s offices and banks and bodegas.” An hourlong Mass, the diocese’s brief said, is “shorter than many trips to a supermarket or big-box store, not to mention a 9-to-5 job.” 

Ms. Underwood responded that religious services pose special risks. “There is a documented history of religious gatherings serving as Covid-19 superspreader events,” she wrote. Indoor religious services, Ms. Underwood wrote, “tend to involve large numbers of people from different households arriving simultaneously; congregating as an audience for an extended period of time to talk, sing or chant; and then leaving simultaneously — as well as the possibility that participants will mingle in close proximity throughout.” Still, she wrote, religious services are subject to fewer restrictions than comparable secular ones. “Among other things, in both red and orange zones, casinos, bowling alleys, arcades, movie theaters and fitness centers are closed completely,” she wrote.

179 comments:

David Begley said...

Yeah, ACB!

rehajm said...

...particularly when those regulations save lives.

In this case, facts not in evidence....

Even if 'lockdowns' work it is apparent 'kinda sorta lockdowns with exceptions for special people' don't help.

gilbar said...

Freedom of religion?
Next thing you know,
People will be acting like they have a right to assemble
Then what?
A right to bear arms?
A right to have their votes counted?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If Covid 19 was actually the deadly contagion that the government and MSM (but I repeat myself) claim it is, then people wouldn't need to be told to isolate themselves from others. The obvious need to do so coupled with the fear of dying would naturally cause them to do it. People are beginning to resist the restrictions because most of them now know someone who has had the covid and it didn't look that bad. People are losing there livelihoods and having their freedom of movement restricted over what they perceive as bullshit.

Quayle said...
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wendybar said...

I want to know what dirt they have on Justice Roberts. DID he go to Epsteins island??? WHAT the hell happened to him?? It's like he is being blackmailed.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

The statements on every side, including those of the court, are intolerable and offensive.

Who in the fuck do these people think they are?

Really, at what point are your essential freedoms worth fighting for?

There really are 4 SCOTUS judges who think they have the right to restrict the exercise of religious freedom?

Fuck them.

tim in vermont said...

This is the same governments that has encouraged huge street demonstrations.

Humperdink said...

LLR Judge John Roberts exposed again.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

The left has used color-coded edits for decades. Time to scrap the other ones also.

tim in vermont said...

This thing is coming to an end anyway. In March and April the bodies were piling up like cordwood in New York, there are effective treatments now and more are on the way soon.

A peer-reviewed study measuring the effectiveness of a *controversial* drug cocktail that includes hydroxychloroquine concluded that the treatment lowered hospitalizations and mortality rates of coronavirus patients. The study, set to be published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents in December, determined that “Low-dose hydroxychloroquine combined with zinc and azithromycin was an effective therapeutic approach against COVID-19.”

That’s right, the governor of Michigan banned a drug that reduces hospitalizations by 84% because Trump praised it. How many people did she kill? This isn’t about religion, it’s about control. Democrats area cult, and cults hate competition.

Birkel said...

Chief Justice Roberts voted with the other three Leftists.
FIFY

Humperdink said...

"Ms. Underwood responded that religious services pose special risks."

Note the word "special".

Certain speech poses "special" risks.

Large capacity magazines pose "special" risks.


tim in vermont said...

There is a red wave springing up in Texas from the border and making Texas redder. Mexican immigration appears to increase support for Republican policies

Hispanics are not real big into church shutdowns.

Shouting Thomas said...

Really, half the time I’d prefer to die than to continue to live in this fashion.

Fuck all these damned assholes who keep telling me they’re keeping me under house arrest for my own good.

My social life, which revolved previously around public performing as a musician, has been just about killed. Outside of severely restricted church services, I’m living in total isolation.

How in the fucking world did Democrats give themselves these Nazi powers to rule my life? I want them to get the fuck out of my life and I’m getting a little desperate about finding a way to do that.

tim maguire said...

Contrary to Ms. Underwood’s assertions, in my church people keep 10 ft apart in most instances and 6 ft throughout except for a brief moment when taking communion, which is done with mask on (the congregant takes the wafer by hand, steps away, and takes off the mask just as long as is necessary) and when leaving—in which case people are not facing each other. There is no singing, no congregating before or after. There is no reason why any congregation has to do what she claims they will.

Quayle said...

Isn’t the bill of rights the original list of essential activities? That point seems to have escaped many governors. apparently they thought they were starting a list of essential activities from a blank sheet of paper.

Birkel said...

Seriously, we need to quit pretending CJ Roberts is a conservative.

h said...

I propose a regulation that exempts all atheists from the requirement that people wear seatbelts. To obtain the exemption, atheists will need to register with the state.

Lurker21 said...

No love for Cuomo, but it would be nice if you could go into churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques, do your business, and then leave as quickly as you can with liquor stores. Take out and home delivery religion are concepts just waiting for somebody to develop. Maybe go back to buying and selling indulgences?

Fernandinande said...

"Secret plans helped Brooklyn synagogue pull off massive, maskless wedding"

"The Satmar synagogue, which has a maximum capacity of 7,000, jammed men onto bleachers filled to the rafters, the videos show. Women sat in the balcony behind a barricade."

Jersey Fled said...

“Numerical capacity limits of 10 and 25 people, depending on the applicable zone, do seem unduly restrictive..."

Spoken like every tyrant in the history of the world. Their abridgement of individual rights never seem "unduly restrictive". At least to them.

stlcdr said...

Religious gatherings are not about getting together to shoot the shit. They are about mental and spiritual health.

In addition, church goers, contrary to the leftist thinking, aren’t deplorable grunts and have an understanding that physical health is also important and have the capacity and ability to take recommended distancing guidelines.

It is only leftists that need to be told what to do. The rest of us can safely run our own lives.

donald said...

That this is anything is embarrassing and tragic for this/my republic.

Jersey Fled said...

Sorry. Misread Robert's quote.

tim in vermont said...

“In recent weeks, organizers worked tirelessly to arrange everything in the best way possible. All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper.”

The Satmar synagogue, which has a maximum capacity of 7,000, jammed men onto bleachers filled to the rafters, the videos show. Women sat in the balcony behind a barricade.


Jews learned a lot of useful stuff living under the Soviets.

iowan2 said...

I want to know what dirt they have on Justice Roberts. DID he go to Epsteins island??? WHAT the hell happened to him?? It's like he is being blackmailed.

Roberts is not calling balls and strikes, or basing his actions on the constitution. Roberts is obsessed with the "Roberts Court" ruling in a neutral numbers. I doubt there will be any 6-3 decisions. Roberts is desperate that his court not go down in history as "conservative"

Humperdink said...

Hoping joe Biden chimes in today on the ruling. Maybe give us another reading from the book of Palms.

traditionalguy said...

Since Roberts has flipped forever,tranny DC style is one vote away. By Roberts reasoning, when an appointed apparatchik in a state or in Washington DC pretends there are lives to be saved, then we have no Bill of Rights. And the Communist International has their fake "CO2 causes warming" crisis coming up to bat.

tim maguire said...

Fernandinande said..."The Satmar synagogue, which has a maximum capacity of 7,000, jammed men onto bleachers...

Sounds like a great test case. Some enterprising journalist or public health researcher should follow up in a few weeks to see how it went.

Birches said...

God bless the Jews in Williamsburg.

gspencer said...

Scan the Constitution and notice the use of the use of these absolutes in numerous places.

"No"

"All"

iowan2 said...

The left has established the precedent. The executive can suspend the constitution for health reasons. Climate scam is the goal. The left can never pass legislation. The only path is executive edict. Roberts is great with that.

Humperdink said...

There are many people to thank for this ruling. On top of the list is President Trump for Gorusch, Kavanaugh, and especially Barret. Recall Trump's steadfastness with the latter two. Next would be Cocaine Mitch for shepherding the nominations past Chuck Schemer's (D-Charisma) mob.

And a special brickbat to former President Bush (Re: John Roberts), the gift that keeps on giving.

Paco Wové said...

"There is no reason why any congregation has to do what she claims they will."

C'mon man!  You just know those icky God-botherers are just thirsting to get back to snake handling and ululating in tongues.

Howard said...

A nice Happy Thanksgiving win for your cause.

Birkel said...

To all the LLRs out there:
The Bush clan only managed to nominate two conservatives. Out of four.

Trump has managed to find 3 out of 3 conservatives. Trump is the only person who has stopped it even slowed the UniParty takeover. Absolute government power is only one Democratical or squishy Bush-humper away.

If Clarence Thomas were replaced by a Democratical president all the rights recognized in the Constitution would be endangered.

The dissents are absolutely nonsensical. They are moored to no standards. They would encourage the slippery slope. Pell-mell, tumble-bumble, ass over tea kettle, tumbling down from the Shining City on the hill.

stevew said...

"Robert's Court" how does one go about changing it to Alito's or Thomas' Court?

Unknown said...

Dr Cumo knows best

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Kagan said what?

"The Constitution does not forbid states from responding to public health crises through regulations that treat religious institutions equally or more favorably than comparable secular institutions, particularly when those regulations save lives.”

what dishonesty.

Treating religious institutions "more favorably" ? Didn't she mean to say "less"


Birkel said...

BFTPFCP,
That was the first half of her analogy. She was lying but that's par for the course.

Try to put it a crèche and see if religious groups can be treated more favorably.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Gorsuch equates churches with liquor stores.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Left Bank - So dishonest.

He made a list of examples.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the dissents of CJ Roberts versus that of the three Democrats were different. He would have dismissed on a kinda Moore’s/lack of standing basis. Cuomo had moved the areas that the plaintiffs were located from Orange or Red to Yellow, which didn’t have very onerous restrictions. Of course, he could move them back to Orange or even Red in a heartbeat, at his complete discretion. And probably will, given the current progression of the pandemic In that area. Roberts’ view was that until Cuomo moves them back, to Orange or Red, it wasn’t their problem. Of course, some of the other Justices pointed out that Cuomo’s moving their parts of town to Yellow could have been for just that sort of purpose, to try to moot the case/deprive it of standing, with the intention of ratcheting back up the restrictions once he gets beyond this case. Politicians play this game a lot. The majority seemed skeptical of his motives and good intent. Roberts seemed almost oblivious to the tine and the pain that it would take for these plaintiffs to get the case back up to their Court, the next time that Cuomo upgraded their status.

I think that the way that I would describe CJ Roberts here is as a judicial minimalist. He seems to want his Court to make as little effect as it can on greater society, esp when politics are involved. I think that that is consistent with what he did with Obamacare, where he made sure that his Court did not invalidate this signature piece of legislation. Not because he believed it to be good and wonderful, but rather, he didn’t want his Court’s fingerprints on its murder weapon. He was probably fine with the Republicans in Congress blowing it up by zeroing the penalty/tax, because that was their job to make that decision, and not that of his Court. Which suggests to me that he will be a “No” vote in the election cases, but, as here, will write his own dissent, which will contrast sharply with that of Kagan and Sotomayer, with Breyer jumping one way or another, but tempted to joking Roberts (given his vote in Bush v Gore).

I found the other dissent (by the three Democrats) to be very worrisome. It is not clear that the restrictions would survive rational basis analysis. But, worship being a specifically enumerated fundamental right, protected by the First Amendment, strict scrutiny is required to validate the restrictions. Many here might question the compelling state interest prong here, with the justification being fighting COVID-19, but no one in the Court did. But where the restrictions failed miserably, to survive strict scrutiny was in the closely tailored and least restrictive manner prongs. Allowing cathedrals seating over a thousand people to only allow 10 (Red) or 25 (Orange) people to worship at a time fails miserably in both aspects. And the two Jews on the Court should have realized that the 10 person limit for Red effectively eliminated any women from worshipping, coincidentally (?) given that 10 men are required for a quorum for a religious service. At least for devout Orthodox Jews, following millennium old religious practices.

tds said...

Jews learned a lot of useful stuff living under the Soviets.

Half of Jews were living under the Soviets, half of Jews were the Soviets. It's a wash actually

Humperdink said...

Left Bank said: "Gorsuch equates churches with liquor stores."

Governor Sonny Cuomo thinks liquor stores > than churches, which is why Gorusch drilled him.

Howard said...

Disappointed strip clubs not in the mix, then we'd really be spinning. Jesus, you won one, be happy. If I were you people, I would be like stoked and thinking SCROTUS will overturn the election next. Power of positive thinking!

info@ysb said...

And remember, if the Dems take control of the Senate all of these rulings will be a thing of the past. Liberal rules all the way.

Ann Althouse said...

"Treating religious institutions "more favorably" ? Didn't she mean to say "less""

No, she did not. It is well-established in the case law that government can CHOSE to relieve burdens that might fall on religious people. That is, there can be EXEMPTIONS from generally applicable laws. But the Constitution doesn't require exemptions. Neutral, generally applicable laws don't violate the Free Exercise clause and exemptions to relieve substantial burdens on religion do not violate the Establishment Clause. That's understandable as judicial restraint.

Birkel said...

Bruce Hayden:
CJ Roberts can pretend to tailor his decisions as narrowly as he likes. But what we are dealing with here is not a limited government. We are dealing with an impulsive totalitarian-minded Leftist Collectivist, activist government. Their intent is to abrogate all out recognized rights.

Those rights are God-given. And here we have politicians limiting access to religious services. The politicians have no respect for what they do not control. They want Everything inside the State.

CJ Roberts might have been a reasonable actor 50 years ago. Today Roberts is a man passed by time (giving him the benefit of the doubt as you do) or a miserable State Schtumper. I will give you odds.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

OK, for completeness, in addition to liquor stores, Gorsuch equates churches with bike shops. Religion equated with a recreational activity. There may be more in his list on the other side of the NYT paywall. I am only commenting on what I see in the post.

Ann Althouse said...

The main case that says exemptions are not required was written by Scalia, who took the judicial restraint position.

Birkel said...

It's a bull shit excuse, Althouse.
It's a lie told in service of power.

Bob Boyd said...

Everything Progs want to do is an emergency.

Birkel said...

Generally applicable:
You mean limiting all public gatherings (except in big box stores?) is totes cool with Freedom of Assembly?

Wash your shoes, don't ban all gatherings.

BTW, the big box stores can have lots of gathering unless we want to limit access to food, like they do in New Mexico now. I want access to food and four hour lines for groceries in Madison so Althouse and Meade can get a feel for the power the Leftist Collectivists wish to exercise over the serfs.

Wince said...

Humperdink said...
Hoping joe Biden chimes in today on the ruling. Maybe give us another reading from the book of Palms.

Or, if you've seen the sex tape, maybe Hunter will give us a reading from the book of Palms and Feet?

Release the Crack-head!

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry, should have been:

“I think that the dissents of CJ Roberts versus that of the three Democrats were different. He would have dismissed on a kinda MOOTNESS/lack of standing basis.”

As everyone here should know, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. There must be a “case or controversy” for them to have jurisdiction. So, as the case got to the Supreme Court, Cuomo reclassified their areas of NYC as Yellow. This was a discretionary decision on his part, that really doesn’t need much in the way of justification. No more case or controversy, because these congregations are no longer arbitrarily limited to 10 (Red) or 25 (Orange) people worshipping at the same time. Then, after the decision, Cuomo just switches them back. Because his determination of which color which neighborhoods should be classified is completely discretionary, there is nothing keeping him from switching them back the next day. We have seen this game played a lot recently by politicians and government bureaucrats. The majority called BS on Cuomo. CJ Roberts felt himself constrained by this doctrine.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Ann. 8:22
OK - I keep re-reading what you wrote.
regarding exemptions... religious exemptions ... This is an exemption going in the other direction. Where the exemptions fall on grocery stores, and other open to the public venues and businesses... and the religious entity is told - 'sorry not you.'

Guildofcannonballs said...

Restrictions due to COVID are racist as they hit minorities and women hardest. People supporting restrictions are racists who ought to be beaten until they are racist no more, or by God dead. Anybody who disagrees with me is racist.

Shouting Thomas said...

I’m finding every angle of this discussion obnoxious and preposterous.

The governor of NY is a fucking Nazi. Lawyers have no fucking business deciding what goes on in my church, and neither does fucking SCOTUS.

The obnoxious arrogance of out of control institutions is all over this post.

Every aspect of this post, the governor’s actions and the legal institutions is abusive and unacceptable.

A whole lot of people need to go fuck themselves and get the hell out of other people’s lives.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

I agree with Guild.

tim in vermont said...

"Some enterprising journalist or public health researcher should follow up in a few weeks to see how it went.”

Good luck with that after the government betrayed their trust.

Humperdink said...

Should the unthinkable occur and Bide'n get emancipated, take a look at his website for his views on Amendment #2. The Supreme's will be very busy.

https://joebiden.com/gunsafety/#

Browndog said...

Roberts: The order is moot, but the authority to issue such order stands.

Gorsuch: Not on my watch, you corrupt asshole.

wendybar said...

Roberts is not calling balls and strikes, or basing his actions on the constitution. Roberts is obsessed with the "Roberts Court" ruling in a neutral numbers. I doubt there will be any 6-3 decisions. Roberts is desperate that his court not go down in history as "conservative"

I would agree except he was voting with Democrats against the country before there was a chance of the court being considered "Conservative"....remember the Obamacare fiasco they forced on us that made everything skyrocket??

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

As long as churches and synagogues obey social distancing and mask requirements, the government has no business limiting attendance. Justices Roberts, Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer have no regard for religious liberty. Typical liberal justice outlook: You will obey the state. Fascists, one and all.

Carol said...

I noticed the comments seemed to be mostly from people who don't go to church themselves but by golly those people who do should stand down, or something.

Jupiter said...

"It was 5 to 4, not 6 to 3, because Chief Justice Roberts voted with the liberal members of the Court."

"That is, no one is saying that the government can discriminate between religion and nonreligion."

If no one is saying that, why is there a "liberal" position? What is "liberal" about the position that favors an increase in governmental power at the expense of individual rights?

BUMBLE BEE said...

Bob Boyd clarifies the "tell". Bravo!

peacelovewoodstock said...

Roberts found the pandemic exception to the Bill of Rights in the emanations from the penumbra of the Constitution.

There's lots of oddball stuff in those emanations.

Birkel said...

Mike of Snoqualmie,
You have your compelling public interest for stopping a pandemic, granted.
(Bull shit but what can you do?)

Narrowly tailor the "we command you to stay 6 feet apart" rules; I dare you.
Outline that rule.
Not a chance that anybody could do so without violating a dozen other laws.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

My church finally re-opened. It's a somewhat smallish congregation and a large church building. Perfect for creating space in the sanctuary. This after summer months in the open parking lot and recorded on-line youtube "live" service. I do on-line.

There are ways to attend a church service, wear masks, and separate.

I question the signing. I draw the line at singing. I'm not going to sing nor am I going to be close to others who are. but that should be my choice, not some damn politician or bureaucrat.

for those of you who find it shocking that I'm a Christian I've stated many times that I'm a lousy Christian. Sit and spin.

Jess said...

Opinions don't have any bite, when the Constitution demands the opinion is illegal. There is a method to change the Constitution, but it involves more than the opinions of tyrannical administrators and bureaucrats who have power only because they are presently tolerated. From what I've seen the tolerance is eroding rapidly.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ No, she did not. It is well-established in the case law that government can CHOSE to relieve burdens that might fall on religious people. That is, there can be EXEMPTIONS from generally applicable laws. But the Constitution doesn't require exemptions. Neutral, generally applicable laws don't violate the Free Exercise clause and exemptions to relieve substantial burdens on religion do not violate the Establishment Clause. That's understandable as judicial restraint.”

But if exemptions are being given (and they are here in the form of arbitrarily determined designation of “essential” services), then the determination that religious services do not qualify for such an exemption must pass strict scrutiny. Why aren’t religious services considered “essential”, and thus qualify for the exemption? Because Gov Cuomo arbitrarily determined that to be the case. He, or his minions, arbitrarily determined what is essential, and what isn’t. That was the purpose of the list by in one of the majority opinions that included bicycle shops and liquor stores - to show that this determination is essentially fairly arbitrary. Arbitrary isn’t sufficient under strict scrutiny (but maybe for rational basis scrutiny). And the burden is supposed to be on the government to show that the decision into deprive groups of such exemptions is not arbitrary, but rather is narrowly tailored and the least restrictive way to accomplish the compelling state interest.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Tim Said...

A peer-reviewed study measuring the effectiveness of a *controversial* drug cocktail that includes hydroxychloroquine concluded that the treatment lowered hospitalizations and mortality rates of coronavirus patients. The study, set to be published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents in December, determined that “Low-dose hydroxychloroquine combined with zinc and azithromycin was an effective therapeutic approach against COVID-19.”

&

That’s right, the governor of Michigan banned a drug that reduces hospitalizations by 84% because Trump praised it. How many people did she kill?

The left would see people die by the hundreds of thousands as long as they could stab a knife in Trump's back.

Jersey Fled said...

Rereading some of the liberal dissent, apparently there is no protection for individual rights as long as restrictions "save lives". As in two lives.

Sebastian said...

"it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety"

It is a significant matter not to override determinations by "public health officials" concerning manifest violations of constitutional rights, particularly when those determinations are unnecessary for public safety and the public can determine for itself how it wants to protect its own safety.

Political Junkie said...

Notice the attention given to ACB in the AA highlighted portion. Especially on 5-4 cases like this when Roberts sides with the Ds. This will remain until the Biden "bipartisan court commission" makes their decision.

On a related aside, as suburban women are moving D, Roberts is moving D, when needed. Hmmm..

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

There was an actor in Hawaii who got Covid early on and that is (IIRC) the exact cocktail of drugs he was given and he climbed out of the deadly illness pretty quickly. But you know - good thing he was ignored by our corrupt press.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Ignoring legal arguments for a moment and speaking purely from an empirical data-gathering pespective — to inform decisions about what are and are not “super spreader” events, and which indoor gatherings meet these arbitrary guidelines and which do not — I find that whole concept suspect.

Defining what is and is not a “super spreader” event relies exclusively on people’s recollections to trace the path of the contagion. Am I supposed to believe this is reliable?

It’s “science-ish”, not Science. Might be useful for journalists to put together a “here’s what probably happened” story. Maybe, but probably not even then.

One thing it is *not* is reliable enough to use as the primary input to policy not passed as law, with popular suport, by legislatures, but imposd by declaration, dictator-style, illegally in most cases, and in direct violation of our defining Constitutional rights.

I should think this is immediately obvious to anyone who thinks about it for 10 seconds, understands the limits of data, and is not hell-bent on taking away the rights of people they hate.

Stephen said...

Hey, conservatives, it's Thanksgiving. Don't be like the others who get angrier after a win.

It's easy to fulminate against the Chief Justice, but he may be playing the long game. There's still a chance that the SC may decide the election, and his so-called liberal leanings may give him room to cast a vote in the other direction.

Conservatives have a long history of being disappointed by SC appointments by Republican presidents. Are there any examples of "Democratic" Justices who have regularly ruled against Democratic positions? If the latter never happens, Republicans should fight even more intensely than the Democrats over SC nominations.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

The Jeffery Epstein log book lists "John Roberts" as a passenger to Epstein's island. Is it the Chief Justice or the Fox News reporter or someone else?

Political Junkie said...

Stephen - Good points. I am not a court expert, but I think JFK appointed Byron "Whizzer" White often voted more conservative than the Ls and Ds expected.

Wince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

Continuing my previous post on the arbitrariness of denying religious services being considered “essential” services:

At the same time, the Governor has chosen to impose no capacity restrictions on certain businesses he considers “essential.” And it turns out the businesses the Governor considers essential include hardware stores, acupuncturists, and liquor stores. Bicycle repair shops, certain signage companies, accountants, lawyers, and insurance agents are all essential too. So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians. Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience? As almost everyone on the Court today recognizes, squaring the Governor’s edicts with our traditional First Amendment rules is no easy task. People may gather inside for extended periods in bus stations and airports, in laundromats and banks, in hardware stores and liquor shops. No apparent reason exists why people may not gather, subject to identical restrictions, in churches or synagogues, especially when religious institutions have made plain that they stand ready, able, and willing to follow all the safety precautions required of “essential” businesses and perhaps more besides. The only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as “essential” as what happens in secular spaces. Indeed, the Governor is remarkably frank about this: In his judgment laundry and liquor, travel and tools, are all “essential” while traditional religious exercises are not. That is exactly the kind of discrimination the First Amendment forbids.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

If grocery stores and other retailers and businesses are allowed to open, with rules and guidelines, and restrictions - why not churches and synagogues? .. with those same wonderful restrictions. ?

Feels like the holier than thou lefty pols want to be the center of the universe... like the flat earth.

Shop and worhsip your leftwing overlords.

tim in vermont said...

Biden probably learned that you always pronounce the ‘P’ from from his old boss who went to Harvard.

Biden did flunk the 3rd grade. He is quite the breakthrough president, the first one to flunk the 3rd grade, as far as I know.

Jupiter said...

There is a more fundamental principle at work here, which is being largely or entirely overlooked. We do not have freedom of speech because all speech is true. We have freedom of speech because we do not agree about which speech is true, and we are unwilling to cede the right to make that determination to ANYONE! Ditto religion, duh. Now we have a bunch of clown-hat Governors, with their favored court magicians, dressed all in white like Gandalf, telling us that the Covid God is angry, but they know how to protect us, if we just do whatever they think of next.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating. By the logic being applied, the Governor of my State could decide -- decide -- that all citizens need to parade naked in the public square, with two carrots up our asses. Justice Roberts wants to point out that the Governor might decide to cut it back to one carrot, so its pretty much reasonable. Mostly. Justice Sotomayor (the Wise Latina(TM)) is just eager to witness the spectacle.

Mrs. X said...

I’m glad for the decision but I wonder if it will actually result in the resumption of religious services. At the church I attend on weekends sometimes, the congregation and clergy are so terrified (thanks, media!) and so compliant that they’ll probably continue the ridiculous restrictions.

Wince said...

Speaking of which, I wonder if Joe Biden was simply just talking about Hunter yesterday when he said, "Palmist"?

Howie Carr: “Devout Catholic” Joe Biden Doesn’t Know the “P” in “Psalmist” is Silent, Not the “S” (VIDEO!)

tim in vermont said...

I wonder if Joe Biden thinks that the “23rd Palm” is about an orgy?

Jeff Brokaw said...

Focusing on legal arguments when the essential legal question is completely dependent on unreliable data ... it’s too late. Far too late.

That’s like pouring sugar in the gas tank and then trying to diagnose why the car won’t start. You let toxic garbage in the system, and now you’re using analytical tools to fool yourself into thinking you can reason your way to a successful outcome.

Nope. We need more pushback earlier in this timeline and at every step along the way, instead of relying on the Supremes to bail us out later. State Supreme Courts are the logical place to filter out toxic garbage in the system, and some states have seen successes there — WI, MI, possibly others — but in IL they failed miserably. Shocking, eh?

Jersey Fled said...

“It is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic,” Roberts wrote."

I don't recall the Constitution granting public health officials superpowers.

Robert's is a real disappointment.

Note: My spell checker tried to change "disappointment" to "disaster". Maybe it was right.

Wince said...

Notice how badly Biden messes up reading from the TelePrompTer "We can proclaim, with the Psalmist..."

"we can pros...claim, of Palmist, with the Palmist who wrote... these following words."

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Biden is an obvious fraud. In every direction.

IMPEACH.

Jeff Brokaw said...

I also reject out of hand the ridiculous notion that government has any legal or moral authority determining essential vs. non-essential businesses.

During wartime, yes. And in less severe situations, for a week or a month, maybe.

But in our crony capitalism world, where lobbyists curry favor with government and each side owes favors to the other, the conflict of interest here is HUGE. The whole concept is a joke.

And in any event, the economic market determines what business is essential and what is not by whether it survives or not.

MadTownGuy said...

I wonder about the optics if a mosque defies the order and the police show up to haul the offenders to jail.

Birkel said...

The answer from this decision will be governors going "The Full New Mexico" and restricting all public places to X people per Y square feet.

Completely arbitrary.
Definitely capricious.
Non-discriminatory.

Food lines around the block.

Jupiter said...

It is appalling, to me, that we are reduced to arguing that this limitless exercise of frank and open tyranny is an imposition upon our religious freedoms. Is that really the only area of our lives that the government may not entirely control, on the basis of an imaginary emergency? The underlying principle of limited government is that government does not know best! And we are witnessing a convincing demonstration of the truth of that principle.

It can be argued, and I have argued it, that the problem we are confronting arises from some really bad laws, passed by typically thoughtless legislators, granting vast and unchecked powers to Governors, under only vaguely defined conditions. This is certainly true, and we may hope the problems will be addressed by legislators rendered more thoughtful by disaster. But the purpose of constitutional limitations is to restrict the possible harm to be caused by the fecklessness of legislators and the passion of mobs. Thus far in your madness, folly and spite, but no further. The role of the Court, self-chosen, I might add, is to discern any breach of those limitations, and strike it down.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Non-lawyer here and I view Roberts as a Champion Hair Splitter which is the worst kind of judge IMO. He could of made a lot of dirty money as a building inspector in one of our corrupt Dem cities.

Birkel said...

No, tim in vermont.
The 23 Palm is about Jeffrey Toobin'

Drago said...

Jersey Fled: "I don't recall the Constitution granting public health officials superpowers.

Robert's is a real disappointment."

Roberts is securely on the left. The only times in the future that Roberts will side with the conservatives is when he wishes to narrow or significantly negate a conservative victory at the court.

Roberts is Souter, and that means he always was.

Fernandinande said...

Howie Carr: “Devout Catholic” Joe Biden Doesn’t Know the “P” in “Psalmist” is Silent, Not the “S” (VIDEO!)

Biden makes my skin crawl.

Drago said...

MadTownGuy: "I wonder about the optics if a mosque defies the order and the police show up to haul the offenders to jail."

LOL

Its impossible to get a lefty/democratical/LLR-lefty to criticize an islamic supremacist beheading in broad daylight on the street. Do you really believe the democraticals will ever use the edicts they issue to attack churches and synagogues against mosques?

I put that probability at approximately 0.0%.

Earnest Prole said...

Trump has managed to find 3 out of 3 conservatives.

Oopsie-poopsie:

“In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. The ruling was 6-3, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's first appointee to the court, writing the majority opinion.

“’Today,’ Gorsuch said, ‘we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear.’

“The decision is a huge victory for the LGBTQ community and a major loss for the Trump administration, which had sided with employers in three cases before the court.”

Supreme Court Delivers Major Victory To LGBTQ Employees

Humperdink said...

"I also reject out of hand the ridiculous notion that government has any legal or moral authority determining essential vs. non-essential businesses.

During wartime, yes."


I disagree. I suspect nearly all business would comply by request. Those that did not would likely be vilified. Government mandates by "special" situation is what got us the Supreme Court.

Jupiter said...

"During wartime, yes. And in less severe situations, for a week or a month, maybe."

While I am unwilling to grant that our freedoms diminish in wartime, it is certainly true that one of the more outrageous aspects of the current situation is the unlimited term of the emergency powers granted by statute to Governors. They need only tap their heels twice and turn around once, and now they have magically become Absolute Dictators For Life! And MDFLs they remain, until such time as they see fit to rotate in the opposite direction. They are under no requirement to justify their outlandish proclamations to any congress, magistrate, court or tribunal, nor is there any limit upon how long they may exercise their vastly extended powers. That is the law, and the law is plainly a ass. But the Constitutions, state and national, are intended to limit the scope of that asininity.

hombre said...

My comment at NYT today will likely not be published:

Governor Cuomo and Company are not “science.” If they were, several thousand nursing home residents might be alive today. More importantly, the politicalization of “science” as well as “science’s” lack of consistency and certainty during this crisis have not inspired confidence in people who are not committed to confirmation bias.

As for the Constitution, secularists are inclined to forget, since it is politically convenient to do so, that the “establishment” and “free exercise” clauses protect their right to not believe as well as our right to believe.

Their protestations to the contrary, it is arguably apparent that several governors, including Cuomo, have restricted churches without the special consideration required by the First Amendment. Sorry, secularists, but it is the law and there are reasons why it is the First.

Birkel said...

Earnest Prole:
Your failure to understand what a conservative is will never be my problem.

Francisco D said...

I appreciate that Roberts voted with the Dems on this case. It makes not clear where he will stand over the next several years.

Is anyone surprised?

I like the Souter comparison.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

A petition to forbid King County, WA from creating heroin injection sites was rejected by the courts as overriding the "expert" opinion of the public health department. The appeals went all the way to the WA supreme court and were rejected. The WA supreme court justices are all liberal. This decision blows up the very first sentence in the WA constitution:

SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

In WA, political power belongs to the people except when the experts say it doesn't. For reasons.

Birkel said...

Now, granted, I think a return to the law before FDR would be best for the nation, but that is a radical position.

So if we're going to start from the position that the federal government has the power to require businesses engaged in purely domestic enterprises to be regulated on all sorts of bases, doing so for any reason should be accepted, so long as it does not conflict with an enumerated right. (This assumes Freedom of Association is a dead letter under the law, of course.)

I would devolve loads of power back to the states, personally.

Big Mike said...

“States may not discriminate against religious institutions, even when faced with a crisis as deadly as this one. But those principles are not at stake today. The Constitution does not forbid states from responding to public health crises through regulations that treat religious institutions equally or more favorably than comparable secular institutions, particularly when those regulations save lives.”
[my emphasis]

That bit about “saving lives” is easy to assert, but shouldn’t there be a pretty strong requirement to prove the assertion if you’re going to suspend a portion of the Constitution? And I don’t mean a couple cherry-picked anecdotes, I mean hard facts.

And me an atheist! [Slowly shakes head.]

FWBuff said...

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am especially thankful for President Trump and Justices Barrett, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh.

hombre said...

It is playing out with Roberts becoming the Mitt Romney of the SCOTUS. George Bush is moving from the “marginal modern President” category to join Jimmy and Barack in the lousy modern Presidents category. Two conservative justices are no longer in his “plus” column.

Alito alone won’t save him. Roberts is the Chief and a squish.

Jupiter said...

Then there is this;
"The governor might reinstate the restrictions. But he also might not."

Presumably, Justice Roberts is aware, that if he were saying "The Governor might choose to execute more of his subjects, but it is also possible that he has executed all the subjects he wants to", there might be some objection to his paltering. A demonstrated propensity, on the part of a Governor, to execute citizens, is unacceptable, and would be fit matter for the Court. So he is saying, in effect, that the whimsical barbarities our Governors are practicing at present do not rise to the level at which abuses become concerns. "The Congress shall make only a small number of laws respecting an establishment of religion, and prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...".

Leland said...

"The Constitution does not forbid states from responding to public health crises through regulations that treat religious institutions equally or more favorably than comparable secular institutions, particularly when those regulations save lives."

And yet Amendment 1 of the Constitution clearly reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Note the part I italicized is allowed by various governors under the same rules, yet only certain types of assemblies. It is a sad day that this decision was ever 5-4.

Drago said...

Birkel: "Earnest Prole:
Your failure to understand what a conservative is will never be my problem."

It is amazing isnt it?

I guess their fundamental lack of understanding is what drives them to offer up such idiotic "hot takes" and deliver destined-to-fail messaging strategies.

Recall during the 2016 presidential election, LLR-lefty Chuck, being a leftist, decided that he could be successful in separating Trump from his Althouse supporters by repeatedly injecting references to Trump's history of support for gay marriage.

After injecting these sorts of comments LLR-lefty Chuck would then sit back and await his desired magnificent outcome....

.....only to stand there slack-jawed, filled with rage and bitterness, as he discovered, in a very Grinch like fashion, that he hadnt stopped Trump Support, in fact, it grew.

And then LLR-lefty Chuck sat there and puzzled, and puzzled abd he puzzled some more.

But unlike the Grinch, this puzzling and puzzling did not lead to an epiphany and greater understanding for LLR-lefty Chuck. And so there was no transformation moment for Chuck, instead just his usual scampering back to media matters or CNN for the next set of talking points.

So for today lets sit back and see if Earnest Prole can figure out why his "clever" LGBTQ reference is not the rhetorical "kill shot" he thought it would be.

My money is on "No".

Perhaps a phone call to Ric Grenel could provide some illumination.

Earnest Prole said...

Your failure to understand what a conservative is will never be my problem.

I'm confused. Are you the kind of conservative who celebrates Gorsuch for delivering a "huge victory for the LGBTQ community and a major loss for the Trump administration?" Or the other kind?

I'll count you "Gorsuch-curious" for now.

Achilles said...

Earnest Prole said...
“Trump has managed to find 3 out of 3 conservatives.

Oopsie-poopsie:“

You are not particularly bright. Most people who slash and hack at straw men are not.

Humperdink said...

It would not surprise me if Fredo's brother chose to ignore the ruling and go after a few churches to prove his tyrannical credentials. Think of it, he would become a lefty hero again and up for another prize.

DavidUW said...

Chief Justic Roberts is a liberal member of the court.

Ffs. figure it out already.

The blackmail of his gay trysts had their effect, but thankfully RBG died.

Drago said...

Interestingly, the only problem LLR-lefty Chuck had with Souter and has with Roberts is they were/are far, far, far too "conservative" for LLR-lefty Chuck's taste.

Overall, I do find myself agreeing with Shouting Thomas.

To use a football metaphor, the fact that on this drive, we stopped the democraticals/LLR-lefty lap poodles at the goal line still means that the game was being played deep in our territory and if that happens enough, the democraticals/LLR-lefties are going to be successful in putting the final nails in the Republic.

Kate said...

Shouting Thomas has spoken.

tim in vermont said...

"While I am unwilling to grant that our freedoms diminish in wartime,”

If we ever get into a serious dustup with the ChiComs, first thing we do is shoot the libertarians.

Birkel said...

Wow, Drago.
Usually it takes more than 10 comments before the idiots prove you correct.
"Earnest" did it in one.

Birkel said...

The Kate Concern stroll is boring.
Somebody request another so the blog stays interesting.
I spot them in 3 or less, every time.

Drago said...

Birkel: "Wow, Drago.
Usually it takes more than 10 comments before the idiots prove you correct.
"Earnest" did it in one."

I really should contact a few of my East Coast acquaintances and establish betting pools, to include #of comments over/unders for predictive validation.

Quayle said...

A few points:
1. Just because a Scientist says something, that does not make it science.

2. In a democracy, the citizens have the final say as to what they are going to deem true and where to set the dial between competing social goods. They may choose to believe a scientist making a particular assertion, or they may choose not to.

3. The tell of the modern secularist mind is that they think that only political leaders have skills to evaluate evidence and make decisions. They appear clueless (or willfully ignorant) of the fact that religious societies also have leaders with wisdom and sound discretion, to whom many look for guidance and wisdom. These modern secularists act like everyone but them will be reckless and ignorant.

mccullough said...

Gorsuch is a decent successor to Scalia.

He cuts through the shit to skewer both Cuomo and Roberts. He actually skewers Roberts a little more than Cuomo.

Drago said...

McCullough: "He cuts through the shit to skewer both Cuomo and Roberts. He actually skewers Roberts a little more than Cuomo."

Correct.

I picture Gorsuch taking his index finger and jabbing it harder and harder into LLR-lefty Chuck's sternum as he lectures Chuck on each and every skewering point slammed into LLR-lefty Chuck's hero Cuomo and his sidekick Roberts unconstitutional idiocy.

hombre said...

One of those myriad illustrations that reminds me why I am no longer a Democrat and why I don’t vote for them for anything is Sotomayor’s bullshit about “saving lives.”

So today, Sonia opines, we can ignore the Constitution to “save lives.” Yesterday, she would agree, it was acceptable to distort the Constitution to take lives - by now 61 million of them.

hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

wendybar said...I want to know what dirt they have on Justice Roberts

I believe it has something to do with his adopted children. The rumored threats are supposed to be coming at the children and the adoption process.

/shrug

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Yes, Democrats and the MSM, but I repeat myself, are all screaming about how "people are dying from the China Flu!", except they'd never use "China Flu." They are panicing people about how deadly it is, when in reality it's deadly to the elderly and immune-compromised people. They ignore the deaths and misery caused by preventing people from working and earning a living. They think all they have to do is give them money to buy stuff or services, but there's no stuff to buy or services to be had because they've shut down the economy. Typical leftist morons.

Brian said...

The Constitution does not forbid states from responding to public health crises through regulations that treat religious institutions equally or more favorably than comparable secular institutions, particularly when those regulations save lives.

Could the state say that forbid a religious institution from communicating things that the state considers dangerous? Like say that the institution teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and the state feels that this causes an increase in suicides among homosexuals.?

Regulating services in that case would "save lives".

Now do Planned Parenthood.

Joe Smith said...

"I believe it has something to do with his adopted children. The rumored threats are supposed to be coming at the children and the adoption process."

I have heard this supposition a million times on the interwebs.

But if it's such 'common knowledge,' how can it also be leverage?

And even though Roberts is a squish, I have to believe that a Supreme Court Justice knows how to do the paperwork in an adoption case.

There's also the John Roberts listed in the Epstein flight logs but I don't think anyone has pinned him down.

Seems too good to be true though...

Big Mike said...

It's easy to fulminate against the Chief Justice, but he may be playing the long game.

Or maybe he has just “evolved.” Or devolved.

MayBee said...

Once again, we see the left try to make protests the only important display of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

I really can't believe any Justice who had ever read the US Constitution would think these rules are constitutional.
And I can't believe any citizen who has watched the people making these rules would think they are capable of making good ones.

MayBee said...

I don't know if someone has something on John Roberts, but we certainly have seen at least two US Senators- Whitehouse and Schumer- threaten the court in the past 2 years.

And I saw what Obama did to Petraeus to keep him from running for President. Brought him into the adminstration to spy on him and out him as an adulterer. So nothing is impossible in my mind.

Earnest Prole said...

Perhaps a phone call to Ric Grenel could provide some illumination.

Perhaps it could. Unfortunately, it appears Trump doesn't have his number -- how else can you explain how his Administration ended up on the opposite side from him on this issue?

effinayright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
effinayright said...

Shouting Thomas said...
Really, half the time I’d prefer to die than to continue to live in this fashion.

Fuck all these damned assholes who keep telling me they’re keeping me under house arrest for my own good.

My social life, which revolved previously around public performing as a musician, has been just about killed. Outside of severely restricted church services, I’m living in total isolation.
********************

How many millions of Americans must wake up each morning thinking they are Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day"?

Wife and I have a few friends (one a retired judge) who have said "fuck it" to all the mask-wearing/distancing bullshit when at home. So we have get-togethers and hope the Bernie-loving Karen across the street doesn't drop a dime on us.

We and everyone we know is healthy, so we can still celebrate Thanksgiving. What I'm waiting for (and dreading) is a giant eruption from a general populace reaching a breaking point seeing pols not following the rules they expect us proles to.

It could get very ugly.

The word "defenestration" might make a comeback.

readering said...

Not going to search, but my recollection that some, including commenters here, were suspicious of Barrett when nominated because on the Seventh Circuit she joined a majority upholding pandemic restriction on religious services. If so, influenced by Gorsuch? Alito? Whatever happened to girl power!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
loudogblog said...

The big problem is that they actually were treating religion differently.

n.n said...

Color coded... diversity dogma is a clear and progressive condition.

Close Planned Parent facilities to reduce excess deaths by 50%. Early treatment with the HCQ cocktail and Ivermectin (with less signal diversity) will further reduce hospitalization and mitigate progress by 80 to 90%. If you restrict group gatherings, then anything greater than a minority of one is a spreading event. Diversity happens in time and place. The liberal justices need to lose their Pro-Choice quasi-religion and dump the Twilight Amendment, not limited to selective and cannibalized-child (Planned Parenthood), and now selective-granny, too.

The big problem is that they actually were treating religion differently.

Yes, whether God, gods, or mortal gods, judge a religious/moral, or its relativistic cousin "ethics", philosophy by its principles.

n.n said...

Or maybe he has just “evolved.” Or devolved.

Evolved (i.e. chaotic) "=" devolved, and progress (i.e. monotonic) "=" regress. Fitness and principles, respectively, matter.

Birkel said...

readering has just broken the news that New York is inside the Seventh Circuit.
Or perhaps that a circuit judge is constrained in ways that Supreme Court Justices are not.
Or maybe readering's memory is of no account.

Something.
Anyway, nobody cares except to mock the stupidity.

Jim at said...

Chief Justice John Souter.

Jim at said...

A nice Happy Thanksgiving win for your cause.

It's not 'our' cause, moron. It's everybody's.
This should not be a partisan issue.

It's in the GD Bill of Rights and the ruling should've been 9-0.

hstad said...

Picking and choosing winners and losers by government officials and politicians has always been correct throughout history? LOL! There is no scientific agreement that "Masks" or "6 foot distancing" works. A one-size-fits-all 2-metre social distancing rule is not consistent with the underlying science of exhalations and indoor air. Quite the opposite! For example, the Covit-19 virus has a transmittal distance of 30 meters. Please show me the 100s of studies which cite such nonsense. Most people are more likely to wind up six feet under because of almost anything else under the sun other than COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of Trump’s top Wuhan coronavirus task force members, now says staying inside for too long isn’t good, as it could cause “irreparable damage”: Source - CNBC interview. There has never been a greater scam in the history of the world. The American “experts” and “elites” destroyed the greatest economy in history over a virus that leaves children and those healthy Americans of working age virtually untouched. Over a virus which is slightly more infectious vs. the common cold. For this, the experts closed the schools and churches and businesses.


hstad said...

I forgot to include this from "The Lancet" as to disagreements galore by our so-called 'experts'.
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30514-2/fulltext

hstad said...

BTW, COVID-19. Why? There is a 20% bonus for hospitals and doctors from insurance, like Medicare, for reporting COVID-19 deaths. Therefore, a perverse incentive for them to report COVID-19 deaths over other causes with no follow-up audit to the truth of such reporting. Thus leading to this: CDC admits we counted 51,000 heart attacks as Covid deaths.

https://www.citizenfreepress.com/column-2/cdc-admits-we-counted-51000-heart-attacks-as-covid-deaths/

YoungHegelian said...

Interestingly enough, since the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of NY was the applicant in the case, the SCOTUS decision was not only a per curiam decision, it was a pro Curiam decision as well!

Steven said...

This is an exemption going in the other direction. Where the exemptions fall on grocery stores, and other open to the public venues and businesses... and the religious entity is told - 'sorry not you.'

That's certainly the position of the majority opinion.

The position of the Sotomayor dissent is that, given how the disease spreads, the comparable reference class for religious services are, as listed in the NY order, "lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports, and theatrical performances". And that since religious services are treated more leniently than those, religious services are getting favorable treatment over comparable secular activities, rather than than unfavorable.

The question thus turns on how you draw the reference class that you're comparing religious services to. If you're narrowly drawing it, to places where people specifically gather in groups to watch/listen to other people, then religious groups are being singled out for more lenient treatment. If you broadly draw it to include any places where people may meet, even as they generally pursue independent activities, then religious groups are being singled out for unfavorable treatment.

As someone who read the opinions initially ready to tear the dissenters a new one, I find after reading them that I think Sotomayor has a reasonable point. I think it would be generally dangerous to the free exercise of religion to draw things the way she does, and thus I still disagree with her, but her position is intellectually reasonable and defensible.

Night said...

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Night said...

Leland said...


And yet Amendment 1 of the Constitution clearly reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

** Ivory Tower decisions by the branches of government. Quibbling over the intricacies of an oak tree while the forest burns.

That makes your average 7th grade civics student more capable of understanding the constitution than a chamber of justices and a cacophony of lawyers. Should be obvious.

Joe Smith said...

"How many millions of Americans must wake up each morning thinking they are Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day"?"

30 days to flatten the curve...

Ah, the good old days.

Now it's 0% infection rate ever in all circumstances, or welcome to your lockdown life.

Fuck politicians.

I'm Not Sure said...

Based on their actions, it would appear politicians do not fear the virus and so, are not locking themselves down. The obvious solution would be to make everybody a politician and then we can all get on with our lives.

The Godfather said...

Here in NC, the Gov. has "strengthened" the mask mandate because we've had an increase in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. For in-door meetings, even with social distancing, everyone now has to wear a mask. So, my question to the follow-the-science crowd is: What scientific evidence is there that the recent increase in Covid cases in NC or anywhere was caused by people at indoor socially-distanced meetings not wearing masks? As opposed to the fact, for example, that it is NOW LATE NOVEMBER and it's getting colder and we are into what we have called for decades -- wait for it -- FLU SEASON!!!!

I don't believe that there's any "science" to support closing churches and opening gyms, or vice versa. It's all politics. And the First Amendment was intended to protect religious freedom from politics. I'm sorry John Roberts can't see that.

Qwinn said...

"As someone who read the opinions initially ready to tear the dissenters a new one, I find after reading them that I think Sotomayor has a reasonable point. I think it would be generally dangerous to the free exercise of religion to draw things the way she does, and thus I still disagree with her, but her position is intellectually reasonable and defensible"

I'm willing to concede that the bullshit rationale they came up with to justify their predetermined preferred partisan outcome in this case is better and more defensible than the usual bullshit rationales they come up with to justify their predetermined preferred partisan outcomes.

Except for Roberts' dissent. That was pure bullshit on stilts. "Hey, as long as the tyrants turn the tyranny spigot off just before it arrives in front of me and back on right after I'm done, so none of it is on me, go to town, tyrants!" I'm beginning to loathe him even more than the lockstep liberal justices, all of whom I hope history views as the most unprincipled, partisan justices in US history. Because they are.

I'm Not Sure said...

"It's all politics."

It's been politics since the first time Trump mentioned the subject.

rcocean said...

Good to see after joining the liberal's for the 20th time joining the liberal/left in important cases, people finally are giving up on "John Robert Conservative".

You'd think after his decision on Campaign Financing, Obamacare, the Census, and most recently the Pennsylvania voting law decision people would've realized he isn't one of us conservatives and never was.

Its inexcusable that Bush-II passed over more experienced and Right-wing judges (including a woman) to appoint Roberts not only To the SCOTUS but as Chief Justice. His excuse for not making Scalia Chief Justice was he "didn't want to fight the Democrats" because blah, blah, blah. Bush_II will go down as one of our worst Presidents, even worse than his Hillary loving father.

rcocean said...

I notice that ONCE AGAIN, Drama queen Kavanaugh has written a separate concurrence. Does this guy EVER just join with others in one opinion? I've never seen a junior member of the court write so many separate opinions, none of which are impressive.

I don't blame Trump for Kavanaugh, because his appointment was obviously part of "deal" with Anthony Kennedy. Y'know "Hey Trump I'll retire if you nominate one of my former Clerks".

rcocean said...

Roberts wrote another clown opinion. This guy always hides behind "Procedure" and "Judicial Restraint" and "Federalism" when it suits him. where was the judicial restraint in overturning Trump's recession of Obama's DACA Order? Or in refusing to allow the Census to ask people if they are Citizens? The only consistency Roberts has is in following his RINO politics.

rcocean said...

BTW, "Judge" Sullivan has refused to accept trump's pardon of Flynn and is making noises about appointing a "Special Prosecutor". How long can this clown get away with abusing his position? The Leftists on the DC Circuit refuse to rein him in. Will the SCOTUS ever get involved?

Browndog said...

readering said...

Not going to search, but my recollection that some, including commenters here, were suspicious of Barrett when nominated because on the Seventh Circuit she joined a majority upholding pandemic restriction on religious services. If so, influenced by Gorsuch? Alito? Whatever happened to girl power!


Yes, I was one.

Very vocal about it. I had sound, concrete reasons to be concerned based on her previous opinions and her tendency to yield to the government. This case was not those cases.

Libtards cannot understand nuance to save their lives. It requires actual, honest thought, and takes precious minutes away from dunking on Trump 24/7.

Browndog said...

rcocean said...

You'd think after his decision on Campaign Financing, Obamacare, the Census, and most recently the Pennsylvania voting law decision people would've realized he isn't one of us conservatives and never was.


Notice Roberts pulled the same shit here he pulled on Pennsylvania. The same shit the 6th Circuit pulled with Flynn/Sullivan-

'Nope, this is fine. The defendant will do the right thing, even though they're probably doing the wrong thing now, which is why this is before the court, but if they don't come see us in a few years and we'll straighten this all out. We've got all the time in the world. Well, a lifetime for sure.'

This shit show in Pennsylvania is all on Roberts. If honest elections are lost in America forever, thank John Roberts and his former service provider, Jeffrey Epstein.

Martin said...

Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;... (Incorporated to the States by the XIV Amendment)

How convenient of Sotomayor, Kagan, Roberts, and (I assume) Breyer to focus on the establishment part and ignore free exercise. How very convenient.

Roberts really is a tool. It is a miracle that we got someone as good as Alito out of GWB. (Of course, he wanted to give us Miers, whom Harry Reid later praised.)

Greg the Class Traitor said...

"And it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic."

So, the problem with Roberts is that he's the kind of credentialed moron who thinks that the "experts" should be deferred to, no matter what.

What a loser

Greg the Class Traitor said...

Bruce Hayden said...
We have seen this game played a lot recently by politicians and government bureaucrats. The majority called BS on Cuomo. CJ Roberts felt himself constrained by this doctrine.

We've seen Roberts allow this garbage with gun laws, too

It's shameful that he lets that be done. I'm glad that with ACB the SC is no longer going to allow that sort of dishonest gamesmanship

DeepRunner said...

Sad that it was 5-4. CJR seems to enjoy writing words that, in the end, seem indecisive and wishy-washy. Just happy that the Emmy-winning governor got smacked down. Wonder how Fredo feels.

Another old lawyer said...

It's a shame that Trump hadn't issued the order. That would have made it at least a 8-1 decision as Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer would have all reflexively voted against the restriction. In their eyes, who issues the executive order is a factor, maybe the sole determinant, in whether an executive action is unconsitutional.

Roberts probably would have still dissented.

PM said...

Roberts must've seen a photo of Maradona's maskless funeral crowd and panicked.

Das said...

Start holding church services in liquor stores ... Jesus was not averse to being seen with publicans and sinners ...