Some rationality on COVID lockdowns from President Trump's Supreme Court
The wisdom of President Trump's Supreme Court choices, including Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch, was laid out with this week's ruling on whether New York's leftist Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the power to capriciously order extended church, mosque and synagogue shutdowns on supposed COVID concerns.
According to John Solomon at JustTheNews:
In a 5-4 decision, the court said Cuomo's restrictions violated the Constitution's First Amendment right to freedom of worship and granted an injunction barring the rules from being enforced.
"Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area," the majority opinion said. "But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty."
Which was a wise ruling indeed. Cuomo had targeted religious institutions with special venom as if he wanted an entire young generation to go without any memory of religious services. He had a special little cold spot for synagogues.
At the same time, his extended shutdowns were completely arbitrary, permitting abortion clinics, strip clubs, and big box retailers to stay open, while commanding churches, mosques, and synogogues to stay shut.
Much of the back and fourth in the opinion had been billed as a contest between public health officials claiming to "save lives" versus constitutionally guaranteed religious freedoms, which had been suspended in the wake of COVID . That was how the Court framed it. According to Politico, the Court ruled:
“Stemming the spread of COVID–19 is unquestionably a compelling interest, but it is hard to see how the challenged regulations can be regarded as ‘narrowly tailored,'” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion. “They are far more restrictive than any COVID–related regulations that have previously come before the Court, much tighter than those adopted by many other jurisdictions hard-hit by the pandemic, and far more severe than has been shown to be required to prevent the spread of the virus at the applicants’ services.”
In reality, it was about a power-mad pol who capriciously issued selective diktats, including very lethal ones, such as seeding New York's nursing homes with COVID patients, and then claimed it was all about public health. Cuomo's terrible March 25 executive order contributed to 6,908 COVID nursing home deaths inside New York facilities and an even larger number in hospitals, with the total topping 12,000 deaths.
Which is to say, Cuomo doesn't have much credibility on the public health front. His executive fiats that infringed on First Amendment freedoms were no temporary measures, for one, but extended again and again over time, and for an illness that lately now kills fewer than 1% to 5%, of its sufferers. That pretty well proved that they were ineffective and he and his public-health minions didn't know what they were talking about.
A second problem for Cuomo was his failure to prove that New York's churches, synagogues, and mosques were particularly dangerous as superspreader events. The Court seemed to find that laughable given that big-box retailers and voting booths and grocery stores and protest rallies had been wide open, and most seemed to figure out how to keep themselves safe through masks and social distancing. Why religious places of worship would not was weird stuff, probably the doing of a governor who didn't like religion. The Jewish plaintiffs, in fact believed that Cuomo was spcially singling them out
Letting him get away with this would mean he could extend his COVID lockdown orders on and on into eternity, forcing New Yorkers to raise a generation of students who could never go to weddings, funerals or church, yet never resolve the COVID problem.
But now the Court has stars such as Justice Amy Coney Barrett. who interprets the law as it is written, and is not to be bee-essed, the earth is moving back onto its axis.
Because the legal reasoning of the Court ruling focused on whether Cuomo had power to do this, it could bode well for the upcoming election Court cases surrounding the make-it-up-as-you-go-along swing state legislators, who've used COVID as their excuse to dictate.
Seems good things are now coming from this Court because of President Trump.
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