USA

Trump Supreme Court shows how bad it's going to be with order putting churches above public health

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in by Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas during a ceremonial swearing-in event on the South Lawn of the White House October 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Senate confirmed Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court today by a vote of 52-48. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Amy Coney Barrett

Hours before Thanksgiving, we got an ugly look at what the fully Trumpified Supreme Court is going to bring us. The court of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett brought us an unsigned order saying that New York’s public health guidelines don’t apply to religious organizations, because FREEDOM. The guidelines in question limit attendance at religious services in coronavirus hot spots. Currently, the harshest limits are in place nowhere in New York.

Before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, in a case similarly challenging restrictions on church attendance, that local officials “should not be subject to second-guessing by an unelected federal judiciary, which lacks the background, competence and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people.” Wednesday night, that view was overruled by Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas.

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,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, adding, “Justices of this court play a deadly game in second guessing the expert judgment of health officials about the environments in which a contagious virus, now infecting a million Americans each week, spreads most easily.”

That’s how it’s going to go: The Trump court puts the right of churches to hold large services above the right of everyone else to live safely. This court is going to be as bad as we thought. At the cost of lives. How apt that Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court career kicked off with a superspreader event and she dove right in with this case.

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