Monday, 30 November 2020

Covidiot News - SCOTUS Backs Unrestricted Church Super-Spreader Events

Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Fundamentalist Catholic and Trump stooge on SCOTUS.
Splitting 5 to 4, Supreme Court Backs Religious Challenge to Cuomo’s Virus Shutdown Order - The New York Times

In an astonishing but predictable ruling, and one which reverses similar rulings concerning coronavirus restrictions on church services in Nevada and California, the US Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for New York's Mayor Cuomo to impose restrictions on places of worship in New York in an attempt to bring the raging coronavirus pandemic under control.

The difference in the composition of SCOTUS that led to it reversing earlier decisions was of course, the death of the liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her replacement by Trump loyalist and right-wing religious fundamentalist, Justice Amy Coney Barrett. It was her vote that tipped the balance in favour of the churches with the court split 5-4. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr and the three liberal justices dissented.

The Supreme Court addressed two applications - one from the Catholic Church, and one from two Synagogues, an Orthodox Jewish organization and two individuals. They were contesting an order which restricted the maximum number of worshippers to 10 in a covid-19 'red' hotspot and 25 in an 'orange' hotspot. The court ruled that this was an infringement of the First Amendment right to religious freedom and could thus be ignored.

The restriction had been imposed because of a serious uptick in the number of cases in a predominantly Orthodox Jewish area associated with attendances at a synagogue. The plaintiffs argued that it was discriminatory to allow cycle shops and liquor stores to open but not places of worship. No evidence was offered of an uptick in cases associated with cycle shops or liquor stores, nevertheless, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch agreed with them.

So, places of worship in New York are now free to hold as many coronavirus super-spreader events as they need to, to keep the money supply flowing, regardless of how many people are made sick and die as a result. These are the same people who, on the whole are against a woman's right to abortion and contraceptive services on the grounds that they are an infringement of an unborn child's right to life - a pro-life stance that seems to fall short of concern for the lives of people who might otherwise live if only attendees at places of worship could be slightly inconvenienced and the churches and synagogues could manage without their donations for a few more weeks.

Catholic Fundamentalist, Justice Amy Coney Barrett of course did what she was hastily installed in SCOTUS by Donald Trump and the Republican Party to do - give religious fundamentalists an effective veto on the decisions of elected governors and officials as payback for their unswerving support for right-wing Republicans and President-reject Donald Trump's re-election campaign, and to confirm their specially privileged place in constitutionally secular USA.

And this by people whose job it is to safeguard the secular US Constitution! Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and can only be removed in exceptional circumstances. Now aged 48, Amy Coney Barrett could well be a SCOTUS Justice for another 30-40 years!

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