A pandemic-related immigration lawsuit~, was dismissed by the Supreme Court with just one sentence. More was said by Justice Neil Gorsuch, who harshly criticized the responses of all levels of government—from rural areas to the nation’s capital—to the most serious public health concern in a century.
President Donald Trump’s first choice for the Supreme Court, described the emergency measures implemented during the COVID-19 disaster, which claimed the lives of over 1 million Americans, possibly “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country.”
He cited decrees that forbade evictions, mandated vaccinations, restricted church activities, and closed schools. Even his coworkers were targets of his barrage directed at regional, state, and federal politicians. “Executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale,” Gorsuch wrote in an eight-page statement accompanying an anticipated Supreme Court order that would formally dismiss a case involving the use of the Title 42 policy to bar asylum seekers from entering the country on Thursday. Gorsuch and five other conservatives gained a majority on the court, ending the halt on evictions and stopping a Biden administration proposal to mandate frequent testing and vaccinations for employees at larger corporations.
After Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, prohibitions on religious services were lifted once Amy Coney Barrett joined the court. However, Gorsuch compiled his grievances in one place on Thursday and wrote about the lessons he believed could be drawn from the previous three years.” Fear and the desire for safety are potent motivators, to name one lesson. As long as someone takes action to meet a perceived threat, they can spark a demand for nearly any kind of activity. It can be difficult to resist a leader or expert who insists on doing everything exactly as they suggest, according to what he wrote.
He also offered the following possible lesson: “The concentration of power in the hands of so few may be effective and occasionally popular. However, it does not tend to promote good governance. He also had harsh words for the Republican-led states that fought to maintain the Title 42 regulation as well as the five conservative justices who voted to leave it in place for an additional five months after it was supposed to expire in late December. At the very least, Gorsuch said, “one can hope that the Judiciary won’t soon allow itself to be part of the problem by allowing litigants to manipulate our docket in order to perpetuate a decree designed for one emergency to address another.”
In the last sentence of his statement, Gorsuch reluctantly admitted that occasionally it is essential to issue emergency instructions. “Believe me, there are moments when strong executive action is both required and appropriate. Emergency orders, however, run the risk of creating new issues even as they claim to solve some,” he noted. The court approved the administration’s request to mandate vaccinations for many healthcare workers by a vote of 5-4, with dissents from Gorsuch and three conservative colleagues.
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