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A Supreme Court justice speaks out against Covid lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and censorship - and enrages the left
Sure seems like Justice Gorsuch is looking forward to weighing in on Berenson v Biden
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch just proved the simmering battles over Covid and civil liberties are nowhere near done.
School closings, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and censorship efforts have ended. But public health authoritarians and politicians who imposed them are in no hurry to give up the powers they seized. They will attack anyone who speaks out.
So Gorsuch has learned since last Thursday, when he released an eight-page statement about the Covid power grab, and the failure of legislatures and courts to stop it. The left’s furious response has made clear why the Supreme Court must step in to prevent state and federal governments from using future emergencies - or “emergencies” - to take our Constitutional rights.
(To find out more about why the battle over Gorsuch’s opinion matters so much, subscribe:)
Gorsuch’s statement was particularly striking because he did not have to make it.
Gorsuch, who joined the Supreme Court in 2017, released the opinion as the court blocked efforts to extend a Covid-era border policy that made expelling illegal immigrants easier. With the Covid declaration of emergency officially over, the government can no longer use emergency authority for immigration rules, conservative and liberal justices agreed.
But Gorsuch did not stop there.
The border restrictions were far from the only “emergency” government rules during Covid, he wrote. Local, state, and federal governments used their authority to interfere to restrict basic rights to work, assemble, and even pray and protest:
Executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale. Governors and local leaders imposed lockdown orders forcing people to remain in their homes. They shuttered businesses and schools, public and private. They closed churches even as they allowed casinos and other favored businesses to carry on. They threatened violators not just with civil penalties but with criminal sanctions too.
So they did.
(In Michigan, governor Gretchen Whitmer decided who was allowed to meet and under what terms. And no one stopped her. YEP, THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. In the United States of America. In 2020. And Whitmer was far from alone.)
Meanwhile, the courts and legislatures did not check the seizure of power by unelected public health officials, mayors, governors, and the President:
While executive officials issued new emergency decrees at a furious pace, state legislatures and Congress—the bodies normally responsible for adopting our laws—too often fell silent. Courts bound to protect our liberties addressed a few—but hardly all—of the intrusions upon them.
And Gorsuch explained why:
Fear and the desire for safety are powerful forces… we will accede to the loss of many cherished civil liberties—the right to worship freely, to debate public policy without censorship, to gather with friends and family, or simply to leave our homes. We may even cheer on those who ask us to disregard our normal lawmaking processes and forfeit our personal freedoms. Of course, this is no new story. Even the ancients warned that democracies can degenerate toward autocracy in the face of fear.
Of course, everything Gorsuch wrote was true.
Thus the left’s fury at him.
“Neil Gorsuch Has Given Himself Away,” Jamelle Bouie wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday in one typical counterattack. Bouie wrote:
It is certainly possible that even judged against the full weight of American history, the Covid restrictions on in-person gatherings were an exceptional and egregious assault on civil liberties. But I’m skeptical.
Notably, Bouie didn’t bother to mention vaccine mandates at all in his piece. The White House plan to force tens of millions American adults to be vaccinated or lose their jobs apparently didn’t even register on him as a possible civil liberties or Constitutional violation.
I’d like to say Bouie is out of step with his readers. He is not. His column drew 2,300 comments, a massive number, before the Times closed it. Nearly all supported Bouie’s view that the Covid rules were just no biggie. Some went further.
(Freedom? Who needs “freedom”? More like free-dumb, I tell ya!)
So here we are.
Three years after governors shut down businesses and schools and churches and tried to keep people from leaving their homes, almost two years after Joe Biden broke his promise not to impose vaccine mandates, the left continues to defend its unconstitutional policies.
Neil Gorsuch and the rest of the Supreme Court cannot change what happened in 2020 and 2021. But, if they are presented with the chance to do so, the justices can make clear that it was an outrage and that the United States must never repeat it.
I don’t know if Berenson v Biden will ever reach the Supreme Court and give the justices a chance to weigh in on the way the White House and Pfizer worked together to violate my Constitutional rights.
But if it does, I hope Gorsuch takes the opportunity to back up his ringing words last week with a decision that carries the weight of the law.