The Supreme Court Bars Cuomo’s Pandemic Limits On Houses of Worship

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a surprising blow to pandemic restrictions on house of worship in a late night order barring the enforcement of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Oct. 6 “Cluster Initiative” limiting attendance at religious services.  Five justices (including newly installed Justice Amy Coney Barrett) blocked the limits while allowing the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to hear the merits in the case. Notably, Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the liberal justices but only because he felt that the order was not needed since the plaintiffs were not currently subject to the most severe limits.

Five conservative justices – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Barrett – sided with the religious groups  while Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, dissented. Notably, this is the first major ruling where Barrett’s addition to the Court was determinative as the swing vote. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg was still on the Court, this would have gone 5-4 in favor of New York.

The initiative created color-coded limits on mass gatherings and business operations with houses of worship in designated red zones limited to 25% of their capacity or 10 people, whichever is fewer. The area around a “red” zone is designated an “orange” zone with limited of 25 people and the area around that zone is designed “yellow” with limits up to 50% of a building’s maximum capacity.

The diocese filed with the Supreme Court on Nov. 12 and synagogues followed suit on Nov. 16. Notably, however, Cuomo then maintained that these parties were in the yellow zones and thus not hit by the harsher limits.

That fact clearly persuaded Roberts who saw no reason for the Court to intervene before the Second Circuit ruled on the merits. He wrote that “Numerical capacity limits of 10 and 25 people, depending on the applicable zone, do seem unduly restrictive. It is not necessary, however, for us to rule on that serious and difficult question at this time.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh pushed back and noted that there is “no good reason” not to act now since these houses of worship could return to the more restrictive zones and, if they did not, the court’s rulings “will impose no harm on the State and have no effect on the State’s response to COVID–19.”

The most interesting observations came from the short concurrence of Justice Neil Gorsuch who noted that “[e]ven if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical.” The analysis at points dripped with sarcasm at Cuomo’s priorities:

“At the same time, the Governor has chosen to impose no capacity restrictions on certain businesses he considers “essential.” And it turns out the businesses the Governor considers essential include hardware stores, acupuncturists, and liquor stores. Bicycle repair shops, certain signage companies, accountants, lawyers, and insurance agents are all essential too. So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians. Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

He then added:

“It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques.”

One portion of Roberts’ dissenting opinion seemed to me particularly noteworthy. He seemed to take Gorsuch to task for his rhetoric and the suggestion that his liberal colleagues were tossing aside religious freedom:

“As noted, the challenged restrictions raise serious concerns under the Constitution, and I agree with JUSTICE KAVANAUGH that they are distinguishable from those we considered in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 590 U. S. ___ (2020), and Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, 591 U. S. ___ (2020). See ante, at 1, 3–4 (concurring opinion). I take a different approach than the other dissenting Justices in this respect. To be clear, I do not regard my dissenting colleagues as “cutting the Constitution loose during a pandemic,” yielding to “a particular judicial impulse to stay out of the way in times of crisis,” or “shelter[ing] in place when the Constitution is under attack.” Ante, at 3, 5–6 (opinion of GORSUCH, J.). They simply view the matter differently after careful study and analysis reflecting their best efforts to fulfill their responsibility under the Constitution.”

Justice Sotomayor also seemed to push back on the framing:

“Free religious exercise is one of our most treasured and jealously guarded constitutional rights. States may not discriminate against religious institutions, even when faced with a crisis as deadly as this one. But those principles are not at stake today.”

The order is obviously encouraging news for those challenging these pandemic orders that they could have a 5 or even 6 justice majority on such limitations. This case could make it back to the Court after the Second Circuit ruling, though much could change on these pandemic orders in the coming weeks to moot the case.

Here is the order: ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK v. ANDREW M. CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK

387 thoughts on “The Supreme Court Bars Cuomo’s Pandemic Limits On Houses of Worship”

  1. “But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote;…”

    1. S. Myer– Nice link for a quick summary. Looks like Sidney is going to bury them in evidence. She is a remarkable lawyer.

      1. Commit has been asking what Powell’s proof is. She now has it and a summary. I am waiting for Commit’s comments regarding this filing. Joe Saturday, generally late and wrong, has been asking as well. He will ignore it and won’t change his dialogue. He’s back in the Fifties, This is the city, Los Angeles California located ….

        1. S. – I think ‘Joe’ is commenting from his apartment in Chernobyl, hard to keep up with events there.

  2. Pope Francis in today’s NYTs:

    “With some exceptions, governments have made great efforts to put the well-being of their people first, acting decisively to protect health and to save lives. The exceptions have been some governments that shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths, with inevitable, grievous consequences. But most governments acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak.

    Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom! Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.

    It is all too easy for some to take an idea — in this case, for example, personal freedom — and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything.”

    Goresuch is in a seat stolen from a twice elected President. He and this majority is illegitimate.

    1. B.S. The Senate withheld its consent of Obama’s nominee; it is not a rubber stamp for approving a presidential appointee. Remember Clement Haynsworth and Robert Bork?

      1. The Senate purposefully did not advise and consent on the Garland nomination, which is their constitutional duty. This is not an optional responsibility and is spelled out clearly. If they had advised that Garland was not acceptable, Obama could have appointed an alternate for them to advise and consent on. Those defending that BS are not in anyway defenders of the constitution as they pretend, they are it’s enemy.

        1. Obama could have appointed an alternate for them to advise and consent on.

          You finally got something correct. And yet he didn’t. Instead he put it in the hands of the voters to voice their opinion on who they wanted to nominate and then give consent. The people chose President Trump and a Republican Senate. Case closed.

          What’s next on your list of grievances?

        2. Failure to proceed IS advice and consent. In fact the Senate was pretty flagrant – they were not going to approve Garland.

          Obama could have withdrawn the nomination and tried to nominate someone that the Senate would approve.

          Had Obama nominated Gorsuch – the Senate would have approved.

    2. Dude, you keep reposting the same stupid, idiotic post. Give a freekin rest already. Are you really that unoriginal? Denying gravity doesn’t make it so.

      1. When you say the same thing to George, we’ll believe that you care about people who repeat things they’ve said already.

    3. “as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!”

      Said like the Marxist El Papa truly is.

      1. Francis conflates the role of the church with the role of government.

        There is no place in catholic doctrine – or the bible that specifies a duty of government – or any other group to look after the good of their people. The duties that catholicism (and christianity) imposes are INDIVIDUAL not collective duties.

    4. Barack Obama stole his 2012 reelection. That was not a ‘free and fair’ election. We all know what they did to ‘secure’ that win for Barry.

  3. If even a reasonable fraction of the voter fraud evidence is true, we have more than a national problem.

    It is likely this rot was developed and run in trials in state and local governments.

    I have wondered how it was that places like Seattle, Portland, Cincinnati and the rest ended up with so many radicals and outright lunatics in local government. Perhaps the same methods of fraud apparently used against the President have been used in state and local government as well.

    If the President succeeds in this, and I have thought it likely that he will, we need some aggressive reforms to end these rackets.

    If China and Iran were to pick our next president, it is likely they would favor a demented old man who has been compromised by his son. Who could that be?

    By the way, where are Durham, Wray, and Barr? I didn’t know that one of the Three Blind Mice played bagpipes.

    Or is it the three monkeys, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil? Same thing about the bagpipes.

    1. Young, Durham ain’t coming. He’s got nothing! Durham’s main deputy quit several weeks ago. If you bothered to follow mainstream media you would know all this.

      Regarding William Barr, he invited Federal Attorney’s to look for evidence of voter fraud. It was just a formality to appease Donald Trump. But it is widely believed that Federal Attorneys want nothing to do with Trump’s lies.

      The truth is every political observer expected Trump to launch a disinformation campaign to explain his defeat. That’s Donald Trump; a narcissistic sociopath putting himself over country.

      1. i would tend to agree that Durham will produce little, and that US attorneys will choose not to look into voter fraud.

        But that does not mean there was no misconduct or that there was no fraud.

        Both are self evident.

        What is true is that Durham likely followed the law – unlike Mueller.

        Unfortunately most of the conduct of the Obama administration and holdovers was reprehensible, and immoral – it was not illegal. And Durham is not likely to try to make new law.

        Mueller conversely prosecuted people for non-crimes – even getting convictions from biased juries and bent judges.

        We see the same thing with SCOTUS – justices on the left decide their prefered outcome and then shape the law and constitution to get it. \
        Rather than following the constitution.

    2. What a loser. You lost the election Young so quit the cry baby routine. There is no evidence of fraud, or we would have seen Trump’s lawyers make that argument in court – they haven’t. Grow up.

      1. There is plenty of evidence of fraud. Did you pay attention to the hearing in Gettysburg, PA the other day?

      2. If as you say Trump “lost” the election – then you should not have any concerns about inquiries into election fraud.

        Rather than clawing tooth and nail to get every ballot legitimate or not, if you really beleived you were winning you would have done so honestly.

        Rather than trying to hide everything you would have welcomed inquiry.

        Even now – it is easy enough to put this all to bed.

        Probably the biggest single issue is whether all the mailin ballots counted are legitimate.

        This is easily verified – and ultimately will be verified.

        Just allow a real honest open public review of the outer envelopes.

        Just scan them and put them up on the web.

        Then EVERYONE can work together PUBLICLY to determine which vallots were valid and which were not.

        Unfortunately we can not know who the invalid mailing ballots were cast for – but we can know the extent of the fraud in this election.

        We can PUBLICLY check signature matches.
        We can PUBLIDLY validate names and addresses.
        We can PUBLICLY validate the information provided.
        We can PUBLICLY validate whether the person actually is a legitimate voter in the state they voted.
        or whether they exist at all.

        Are you afraid of the Truth ?

        If as you say Trump lost – really lost, you should not be afraid of the Truth.

        If as you say Trump lost – really lost, that would give Biden the legitimacy he does not currently have to govern.

        Further such and inquiry would put an end to the debate over the extent of fraud in elections.

        As you are fighting any inquiry tooth and nail – you do not beleive your own rhetoric.

        YOU are afraid that Trump actually won,
        YOU are afraid that the results of this election are actually the results of fraud.

        This should not be a surprise. You are not honest. You have not been honest about Trump from the start.
        You do not have confidence in your own ideology, your beleifs,
        you correctly grasp that people will not accept them short of force.

      3. JF we have been over this repeated.

        Big city democrats did not follow the laws of their own states in conducting the election – that is FRAUD.
        It is also lawlessness. And it is typical of those on the left – as well as your attempts to justify it.

      4. DATA: Michigan Analysis Suggests Absentee Votes ‘Manipulated By Computer’, Flags Hundreds Of Thousands Of Ballots

        NEW ANALYSIS OF MICHIGAN VOTER DATA REVEALS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS FLAGGED AS POTENTIALLY FRAUDULENT, LEADING STATISTICIANS TO POSIT “STRONG EVIDENCE” EXISTS THAT RESULTS WERE “MANIPULATED BY A COMPUTER ALGORITHM.”

        The “non-partisan effort by unpaid citizens and volunteer experts” and PhDs comes to the conclusion that an “audited recount” ought to be carried out in Michigan counties that returned voting results that were statistically unlikely, if not impossible.

        https://thenationalpulse.com/politics/michigan-election-fraud-analysis/

  4. THE KRACKEN

    14.

    As explained and demonstrated in the accompanying redacted declaration of a former electronic intelligence analyst under 305th Military Intelligence with experience gathering SAM missile system electronic intelligence, the Dominion software was accessed by agents acting on behalf of China and Iran in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent US general election in 2020. This Declaration further includes a copy of the patent records for Dominion Systems in which Eric Coomer is listed as the first of the inventors of Dominion Voting Systems. (See Attached hereto as Exh. 8, copy of redacted witness affidavit, 17 pages, November 23, 2020).

    15.

    Expert Navid Keshavarez-Nia explains that US intelligence services had developed tools to infiltrate foreign voting systems including Dominion. He states that Dominion’s software is vulnerable to data manipulation by unauthorized means and permitted election data to be altered in all battleground states. He concludes that hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump in the 2020 general election were transferred to former Vice-President Biden. (Exh. 26).

    1. Yeah, the “Kracken”

      “A lawyer who was dropped from President Donald Trump’s legal team filed typo-strewn lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia alleging massive election fraud….

      Both of Powell’s latest lawsuits were riddled with typographical errors.

      The Michigan lawsuit, which was on the court website, was frequently marred by formatting problems that removed the spacing between words. For example: “TheTCFCenterwastheonlyfacilitywithinWayneCountyauthorizedtocountthe ballots.”

      In the Georgia complaint, which was only available on Powell’s website, the word district in the court name was misspelled twice on the first page of the document. First there was an extra c for “DISTRICCT” and then, a few words later, “DISTRCOICT.”

      Bloomberg today.

      1. Newsweek today:

        “A GOP county chairman who is listed as a plaintiff on ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell’s typo-filled fraud lawsuit says he never agreed to take part in the legal action.

        Georgia’s Cobb County Republican chair, Jason Shepherd, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday morning he and his associates need “more information” before they can sign on to Powell’s election fraud lawsuit. …”

        1. So ?

          You are making assumptions and trying to make a mountain of a molehill.

          First you do not know that he did not agree. You only know that he now says he did not.

          Next, he can be removed easily – whether he never agreed or merely changed his mind.

          This is a non-issue, and grasping for straws.

      2. Notice how they don’t focus on the substance of the filings, only the typos, as they work to discredit Powell rather than investigate fraud.

  5. The 10th Amendment is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute and immutable, barring subsequent amendment.

    No court may find and/or decide against the people and their right and capacity to maintain their personal healthcare.

    No State has any authority to wield tyranny over free people who are fully capable of making decisions related to healthcare.

    It does not bear that some States are governed by despots and tyrants which desire and seek inordinate, unconstitutional power.

    The Constitution may not be modified by court decision.
    ____________________________________________

    “…OR TO THE PEOPLE.”

    10th Amendment

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  6. Many of these SC emergency orders are unsigned with no written opinions. I wonder if we should require them to be signed and written for accountability and transparency reasons.

    1. Possibly. But this particular order should have been a slam dunk. What is suprising is that it is 5-4.

      Government may not treat religion differently. PERIOD.

      Frankly ALL these Emergency orders should be declared unconstitutional.

      There is no valid emergency. Emergencies are something sudden that require quick government action without consulting the legislature.

      Outside of a few weeks at the start of this that has not been the case.

      The US and each state are republican government. The executive may not act outside the authority given to it by the legislature and the legislature may not abdictate that authority,

      I would further note that the evidence extensively demonstrates that all government has been impotent regarding Covid.

      We can debate the merits of masks. But it is self evident at this time that no policy has worked to end this epidemic.

      Neither the US nor any western nation has done dramatically better than Sweden.

      Ultimately the left does not trust people to make any choices for themselves.

      An ideological position that is disasterously self contradictory. Top Down Central planning by government has an unbroken historical track record of failure.

      But even from the left’s ideological position – how can people you do not trust to make their own choices, make choices for others ?

      Regardless, heed Michael Jackson’s advice

      “I’m starting with the man in the mirror
      I’m asking him to change his ways
      And no message could have been any clearer
      If you wanna make the world a better place
      Take a look at yourself and then make a change”

      Or the Isley Brothers.

      “Some man’s gone, he’s tried to run my life
      He don’t know what he’s asking
      He tells me I’d better get in line
      Can’t hear what he’s saying
      When I grow up I’m going to make it mine
      But these aren’t dues I been paying
      He can’t even run his own life
      I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine”

      We are not the same, we are not interchangeable cogs, we are not equal. We are unique individuals, our talents are not the same, our interests are not the same, our desires are not the same, we are not ants.

      We may not know how to run our own lives – but no one else can do so better, and more importantly still no one else has the right to do so.

  7. POPE FRANCIS TOO CONTROVERSIAL FOR TURLEY’S BLOG

    About 10 minutes ago I posted a statement from Pope Francis published in today’s New York Times. In this Op-Ed piece, Pope Francis called for cooperation with government guidelines relating to the pandemic. But said post was taken down within 5 minutes!

    The fact that Pope Francis, of all people, was promptly stricken from Johnathan Turley’s blog, when his statement related directly to the column, reveals Turley, once and for all, as an absolute hypocrite on the subject of ‘free speech’. When Johnathan Turley writes about ‘Free Speech’, he means ‘Free Speech’ for conservatives only.

    Even the pope will be deleted if his views conflict with Turley’s column.

    1. Darren will take posts down if they exceed fair use. Try again with a shorter excerpt and just link to the full op-ed.

      1. Anonymous, it’s not too long! It’s no longer than any of the crazy posts Commenter George posts 30 times per day. This is absolute BS. The Pope is actually too controversial for Johnathan Turley.

        1. It’s not a matter of whether the comment is too long per se, but whether a copyrighted excerpt is too long for fair use – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use . George mostly writes his own trash, so fair use isn’t an issue, but if you quote from a copyrighted article, it’s an issue. I’ve seen people here post entire articles and then have their comments pulled, and I bet fair use is the reason.

          1. Who are ‘you’??? Why are ‘you’ explaining for Darren??? And you expect to believe Pope Francis wouldn’t want his statement distributed???

            1. The more words you copy and paste from a link, the more likely such act passes the threshold for copyright infringement, which is illegal or against civil law. Condemning Turley for obeying the law tells readers everything about you and nothing about Turley and this blog.

              Don’t let the door hit on the way out.

            2. It’s difficult explaining reality to someone as dumb as rocks like yourself. If you claim the advice to which you refer is wrong, try providing a better explanation for your post being deleted instead of attacking a truth teller. (“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool that to open it and remove all doubt.”)

              The fact that you and the “Pope” want his words distributed does not mean you get to violate civil law.

              The Pope and official Catholic dogma is pro-war to the core. I don’t give a heck what that warmongering MIC supporter says and neither should anyone else.

              He also says abortion is murder of innocents. Do you agree with that?

        2. It’s a fair use issue, not a WordPress one. Too large a word count from copyrighted material is a violation of copyright law. I’m actually pleased they uphold it. It isn’t difficult to post a link, and for my part, though I really appreciate actual long form and *original* discussions, I’d be grateful if people didn’t clog the comments with entire, outside, articles when a short excerpt and link are sufficient to convey their statement. We can all follow the link if we have further interest. At least for now. 😉 Just my 2¢.

        3. Do you understand what copyright and fair use are ?

          This is a legal blog – I would hope you do.

          It is not the length of the post that matters. It is the length of the portion that is someone else’s copyrighted work.

  8. “To come out of this crisis better, we have to recover the knowledge that” many Democrat leaders want to be dictators.

    1. and the difference is from Biden to Schiff/Pelosi to a host of others they make no bones nor pretense at their true allegiance which is to socialist regressive branch of Marxist Leninism aka International Socialism or Benito/Adolfo both big and little F Fascism known as National socialism. Now we have one of the National Socialist kind as President and one of the Communist kind as Vice President all racing to tear down our Constitutional Republic. So the queastion is Comrade Milley or whatever that Generals name WHEN is our military going to up hold their Oath of Office. Especially in light of the move to dump most of them into the streets of jobless poverty.

    2. Or in the case of Benita Pelosillyni already IS a dictator. Let’s see if the new balance in the Representatives spawns a new coalition of independent constitutinal democrats and Constitutional Republicans enough to toss her and a few other out. So we wait on the fate of the Senate which gets treated to a full court press from the left but is it enough to overcome a presumed lack of illegal votes this time… something Just Facts is busy slaughtering True Facts with facts versus verbal garbage True Facts is famous for,.

  9. KEY PASSAGES FROM ABOVE:

    “Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!”

    “How will we deal with the hidden pandemics of this world, the pandemics of hunger and violence and climate change?”

    1. Dr. Ian Hutchinson is Plasma Physicist and Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ian states that the unavoidable consequence for our children and grand children, of global warming, resource scarcity and expanding population is to return to pre-Columbian lifestyle or list 2 billion human beings who shall die.

      If someone knows a more reliable information source than Hutchinson who disagrees, make your case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzT4EwaHl0w

      And no, there’s no coming “technological magic bullet” to this dilemma, so says Hutchinson.

    2. 1). There is no MUST.

      2). There is no pandemic of hunger – actually bother to aquaint yourself with the data, no one in the world starves today because of a shortage of food. All modern starvation is the consequence of political barriers and war. In fact that is no nation state in the world incapable of feeding its own people in peacetime. Global Food production globally has quadrupled over the past 50 years.

      To the extent there is any problem with hunger – government is the cause not the solution.

      3). Both in the US and the world violence is WAY DOWN. Both on the macro scale – early man rarely lived to 30 and likely died violently.
      We had a spike in violence in the US and other nations in the 70’s and 80’s but that has passed. We are experiencing a spike in violence in cities as a result of the protests this summer – but that will likely pass. There are always brief exceptions – but the rule is that everywhere in the world is less violent today than in its past – both recent and long term.

      4). There is nothing unusual about “climate change”. The constant of the universe is change and climate is no exception.
      There is possibly no example of the idiocy of the left greater than the CAGW nonsense.

  10. I agree with the decision. But what Gorsuch wrote should be challenged. There is an important difference between exercising free religion in a house of worship and businesses like bike repair shops. Many retail outlets admit individuals who may leave quickly, depending on what they have to do; pick up a bike, buy a cake, then leave. There is no one who designs the experience to require an extended stay by the person. But a religious service, like a movie or play or sporting event, only ends when it’s over. Not before. Even if a worshiper can leave at any time, it feels wrong, disrespectful. There’s also a stigma because others see him leave. The decision should recognize the greater health risk.

    1. To the extent that what you say MIGHT be true – we are all aware, and we should all be free to make our own choices.

      You note SOME differences, but you fail to note others.

      Worship can be held outdoors during the day – generally buying grocerices can not. We know that being outdoors is orders of magnitude safer than indoors.

      Movies can be attended by old people and young people – but the risks are NOT the same.

      The point is that one size fits all rules do not work. You are correct that religious worship is different from purchasing groceries. but you completely miss that every activity and every person engaging in it is also completely different.

  11. I wonder if the Supremes would have supported a large Buddhist Cult gathering or major meeting of the Native American Peyote Church? Since neither group is Christian or advances primitive beliefs about the nature of reality they’d probably be shut down but that’s just cynical speculation on my part….

    1. One of the regrets that Sandra Day O’Connor expressed after leaving the court was her decision on Peyote and native american religious practices.

      Regardless the problem goes completely away when you give teeth to the 9th amendment. It is irelevant whether the rights and liberties government wished to infringe on are religious or not. Government reqtrictions on liberty must be justified, extremely narrow and done in the least infringing way possible. Even if the result of that is more people making poor choices and dying.

  12. It can scarcely be coincidental that in 44 states the election went off smoothly and in most of them almost all of the votes were counted effortlessly within about six hours of the closing of the polls. There have been no allegations whatever of irregularities or skulduggery by Republican-governed states apart from Georgia. __NYSun

    1. LMAO. The NY Sun clearly wasn’t paying attention to when each state finished vote counting. Some still aren’t done.

        1. Go ahead and provide a list of the 6 states in which you think “almost all of the votes” were NOT “counted effortlessly within about six hours of the closing of the polls,” and I’ll tell you whether your list is correct.

            1. Black claimed “that in 44 states the election went off smoothly and in most of them almost all of the votes were counted effortlessly within about six hours of the closing of the polls,” but you don’t even know what the 6 exceptions are, and you don’t have the balls to admit it.

              The real issue isn’t whether a couple of states are still counting (they are), but how many were still counting after about six hours of the closing of the polls, which is a longer list. Maybe you and Mr. Black are confused about which states were called by the media and which states had finished counting.

              I don’t have to guess which states still aren’t done. You can see them here, by hovering your mouse over each state and checking which are still less than 100% reporting. Several, like Idaho, Iowa, and Oregon are not among the 5 states Black lists: Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and Georgia. Of those 5, he only names Georgia as a “Republican-governed state,” even though GA, MI, PA, and WI all have Republican-majority legislatures. If he thinks that GA is the only Republican-governed state in his list, meaning that it has both a Republican Governor and a Republican-majority legislature, then he must also think that NV is the only Democratic-governed state in that list, having both a Democratic Governor and a Democratic-majority legislature. The other three have mixed governments. Presumably NC is the other state he’s thinking of, which also has a mixed government.

              What were you saying about goods?

              1. The dullard said: “how many were still counting after about six hours of the closing of the polls, which is a longer list. ”

                Conrad Black said: ” in ***most*** of them ***almost*** all of the votes were counted effortlessly within about six hours of the closing of the polls.”

                Maybe instead of patting yourself on the back and awarding yourself trophies you should take remedial reading. Get yourself a trophy that says :

                ALMOST WON
                CAME IN LAST

                or

                MOST EMBARRASSING
                PERFORMANCE

                1. Maybe you should take remedial math and remedial evidence presentation.

                  “most” of 44 states is anything over half, and could just mean 23 states.
                  Who knows what you mean by “almost all” — 90%? 95%? 99%? Make it explicit, and then name the ones you’re saying satisfied your claim, and let’s check.

                  1. It’s not math that is the problem. It is your reading comprehension.

                    Produce the states that do not fit the language.

                    You get an extra trophy.

                    TALKS BIG
                    THINKS SMALL

                    1. You asked me “Guess which states aren’t done?,” and I told you I didn’t have to guess and gave you a list.

                      Now you’re asking me for another list, but you still haven’t told me which are the 6 states where the election DIDN’T go off smoothly, and how you determined them.

                      If you’re not going to reciprocate with your list, you don’t get anything more from me.

                      You talk big and produce nothing but snark.

                    2. Your failure to understand simple words used by Conrad Black even after those simple words were pointed out to you demonstrates an intellectually challenged individual who desperately needs to improve his reading skills. You are emotionally challenged as well making you lie and pretend the sentence said something other than it did even though it was repeated more than once.

                      I simplified the problem asking you to “Produce the states that do not fit the language.” You couldn’t do that so you bluff. Not smart but turkeys aren’t known for being smart.

                      You won another trophy.

                      THE TURKEY THANKSGIVING
                      CHALLENGE

                      YOU SURVIVED TO BE ON SOMEONE’S
                      TABLE NEXT YEAR.

                    3. You produced no evidence. You are responding to a creation of your own slight mind. I’ll spell it out by copying the explanatory post. Fools continue to deceive themselves while the rest look on and enjoy the entertainment.

                      The dullard said: “how many were still counting after about six hours of the closing of the polls, which is a longer list. ”

                      Conrad Black said: ” in ***most*** of them ***almost*** all of the votes were counted effortlessly within about six hours of the closing of the polls.”

                      Maybe instead of patting yourself on the back and awarding yourself trophies you should take remedial reading. Get yourself a trophy that says :

                      ALMOST WON
                      CAME IN LAST

                      or

                      MOST EMBARRASSING
                      PERFORMANCE

                    4. Why are you engaged in this idiotic and bad microparsing of language.

                      It is irrelevant precisely the words Black used – just as your “interpretation of them is irrelevant.

                      What are you even arguing about. ?

                      Your fighting over words, when there is no actual issue – there is no good reason that ballots can not be counted by midnight election day.

                      I do not have the precise numbers but something close to 95% of the country was 100% reported by midnight.

                      While there were a few republican precincts outstanding – 90% of the outstanding vote was from democratic precincts.

                      This can mean only one of two things (or both) incompetence or fraud.

                      Regardless, why should one trust a party that takes days to count the vote when everyone else manages in hours to manage the country.

                      Finally – again I do not care about your spin on Black’s statements.

                      We can dispense with the word games entirely.

                      Require by law final vote counts by midnight election day. Any reporting after midnight is ignored.

                      I am certain voters in democratic and republican precincts will demand that the vote is counted before the deadline.

                      This is not a difficult task. If every man woman and child in the US voted, it would take 66,000 people counting 5000 votes each by hand to do so by midnight.

                      But we do not have to count votes by hand. In person vote counting is typically done when the voter scans their ballot – that is essentially free – no cost. Absentee ballots can be scanned – again not a difficult task.

                      And so long as all ballots are preserved (as required by law) all results can be checked later by hand if necescary – and that too should be manditory, though the hand verification can take as much time as necescary.

                  2. Your argument is irrelevant and meaningless.

                    You want to cloud the issue with debates over the meaning of most.

                    The fact is that 95% of precints in the country reported final vote counts within 3 hours of the close of polls.

                    And NO I am not going to provide you are source – you are not worth the effort, and not honest.

                    Regardless, it is abslutely certain that the vote CAN be counted within 3 hours of the close of polls.

                    YOU know that. The remained of the argument is just obfuscation and misrepresentation on your part.

                2. Lets make it simple.

                  There is no good reason why every congressional district and precinct can not have final vote counts within 3 hours of the close of polls.

                  I can personally count 5000 votes in 3 hours. That is about 2sec per vote. That means it would require 66000 of me to count the votes of 330M people in 3 hours.

                  Rather than fight over the meaning of almost and most.

                  Lets make it easy – PA election law requires that no further ballots be accepted after 8pm election day, though that law was not followed, still it is a start.

                  The country is already divided into congressional districts of about 750000 people each. That means there are 150 blocks of 5000 people per congressional district.

                  We can count the entire vote of the entire US population in 3 hours using less people than are on jury duty each day.

                  Require the count of each congressional district be completed within 3 hours of the close of the polls. PERIOD.

                  1. John you bufoon, the GOP controlled state legislatures of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all turned a request by their executives to allow mail-in ballot counting to be allowed as they came in. That’s what Florida and other states do. Ifthey had done so, they would certainly not have taken the many days afterward that they did. Remember, most of those ballots came in before 11/3.

                    1. One of the slowest states to count its ballots was Alaska, which also has a GOP controlled state legislature. They have a single congressional district for the entire state. Maybe John should move to AK and help them improve their ballot counting speed.

                    2. So some republicans fail. Why do I care ? I am not republican, I am libertarian.

                      Maricopa country AZ also took notoriously long to come in, and I suspect the results there – even though that is run by the GOP.

                      Myriads of democratic districts manage to count their votes on election day.

                      Alaska atleast has an excuse – a low population and a massive size. What is Detroits excuse ?

                    3. JOhn has been taken by the most obvious con-man in world history and actually believes there was monumental election fraud even though Trump’s attorneys are afraid to say that in court and there is no evidence of any even close to the tens of thousands of votes necessary in each of multiple states, and that if there were, there’s no reason to seat the next Congress or honor all down ballot results either. This is truly bat s..t sucker bad. You have to be really dumb to buy this load of bad loser talk from the most transparent liar in world history.

                    4. JF – there is no “beleif” involved.

                      PA and other states FAILED to follow their own laws. PERIOD.
                      This is a fact. It is not a belief.

                      That you are confused by that explains your overall muddled thought.

                      Separately – if as you say there was not massive fraud – why fail to follow the law ? Why fail to let sunlight in ?

                      I am troubled by GA. GA publicly promised a hand recount, audit and canvas concurrently.

                      If GA actually checked mailin ballots to assure that signature verification was done, that ballots were not back dated and counted.
                      If they actually did what they said they would do – I would trust the results.

                      Right now I am not clear what they did, and Raffensberger is not helping. He appears to be defending bad choices – choices different from those promised for attacks by Trump and others.

                      I expect actual sunlight – not an effort to whitewash.

                    5. We got to listen to you rant about Sidney Powell’s typos – yet your rant here makes no sense.

                      Legislatures do not grant requests – they pass laws.

                      The election law in PA was not followed – in numerous ways. Whatever it is that you are trying to argue – you have mangled your post so badly I have no idea what you are trying to say – it does not change that the laws were not followed.

                      The standard is not that one state must do whatever any other state does – or any other republcan state does.

                      Florida did not have mailin ballots. They had absentee ballots. While these too have problems they are still radically different.

                      Several Republican states expanded absentee balloting options, again probably unwise, but still not the same as mailin ballots.

                      Whether some republican states do it or not counting ballots prior to election day is a vehicle for fraud.

                      Further, it is still unecescary – something you continue to ignore completely.

                      Not only can all votes be counted on election day – regardless of how the vote is done, but they could even be counted BY HAND on election day.

                      While I do not have a problem with computerized ballot counting – so long as ballots are retained and it is possible to BY HAND validate machine counts later, this is not a difficult problem it is just a large one. Every congressional district has 750000 people – if everyone voted – only about half are eligable. that would be 10,000 votes to count in one day for each of 75 precincts in a congressional district.

                    6. “John you bufoon,”

                      Typo’s are of zero importance to the discussions taking place on the list except to those on the left who are otherwise vacuous. Joe, you are one of those vacuous bloggers who complains bitterly about typo’s.

                      The word buffoon is spelled with two f’s not one.

                    7. There are numerous links to evidence of very large election irregularities.

                      Highly unlikely – or nearly impossible patterns.

                      Most of these are not proof of fraud. But they are proof of the possibility of fraud that DEMANDS deeper investigation.

                      Further nearly all would have been caught had election officials followed their own laws.

      1. So ?

        It is still true that elections can and have been conducted so that voting and counting occurs over a short period and that the results are available to everyone quickly.

        There is no practical difference between voting and vote counting in ancient greece and today.

        It takes exactly the same amount of time to count and post the results of 5000 people in NYC as it does in podunk or Athens.

        And 330M people is just 66,000 units of 5000.

    2. Anonymous, The ‘real’ New York Sun went out of business about 60 years ago. Who are you quoting here?? Let’s see that link.

        1. REGARDING NEW YORK SUN:

          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          The New York Sun was an American daily newspaper published in Manhattan from 2002 to 2008. It debuted on April 16, 2002, adopting the name, motto, and masthead of the earlier New York paper, The Sun (1833–1950). It became the first general-interest broadsheet newspaper to be started in New York City in several decades. Its op-ed page became a prominent platform in the country for conservative viewpoints. Since 2009 The Sun has operated as an (occasional and erratic) online-only publisher of political and economic opinion pieces, as well as occasional arts content.

          History

          The Sun was founded by a group of investors including publishing magnate Conrad Black. The goal was to provide an alternative to The New York Times, featuring front page news about local and state events, in contrast to the emphasis on national and international news by the Times. The Sun began business operations, prior to first publication, in October 2001.

          The newspaper’s president and editor-in-chief was Seth Lipsky, former editor of The Jewish Daily Forward. Managing editor Ira Stoll also served as company vice-president. Stoll had been a longtime critic of the Times in his media watchdog blog smartertimes.com.[4] When smartertimes.com became defunct, its Web traffic was redirected to The Sun web site.

          Published from the Cary Building in Lower Manhattan, it ceased print publication on September 30, 2008. When asked why, Lipsky said “we needed additional funds … the 2008 financial collapse was sweeping the world, and the Internet was emerging as a challenge to traditional newspapering.”

          Its web site resumed activity on April 28, 2009, but only contains a small subset of the original content of the paper, mostly focusing on editorials rather than news content.
          ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

          I was wrong! The original New York Sun went out of business ’70’ years ago (I said ’60’). Then the paper was brought back from the dead in 2002 as a conservative source. But then it went out of business again in 2008. Since 2009, The New York Sun has been only a ‘subset’ of a paper focused on editorials.

    3. We should relentlessly seek to eliminate fraud everywhere.

      That said the likelyhood of fraud rises based on the length of the voting, and particularly the vote counting and the scale.

      When the PA Supreme court openly ignored the law establishing that ballots received after 8pm election day would not be counted,
      That opened the door for large scale fraud.

      One of the reasons for being highly suspicious of the 2020 election results is that Trump was ahead everywhere when the polls closed.

      By midnight – or sooner, democrats in populous cities in swing states knew exactly how many votes they needed to make up to flip the election.

      That creates an enormous incentive for fraud of all kinds.

      Certain things we KNOW occured – large scale. Observers were denied real opportunity to observe and object to election process,
      as a result the standards for rejecting ballots pretty much disappeared.

      That might to those on the left seem inoccuous – but that is still fraud.

      It is scrutiny and the knowledge that ones actions are being scrutinized that compells many of us to be honest – especially at the edges, in the “”gray” areas.

      One of the things we are seeing increasingly with the left – as they are more and more divorced from religion is a slowly increasing lack of moral foundations. Increasingly the ends justifies the means, conduct is not good or bad anymore – you are jut caught or not.

      You are purportedly justified to do bad things if it is for a faux good cause. Antifa beleives that they have some moral high ground – as to protestors who go quickly from legitimate political expression to violence looting and arson.

      Regardless, though we could do better than we have – the rules for elections are no arbitrary – they are there to disincentivize fraud.

      requiring that all voting and counting occur in a narrow window makes fraud harder and disincentivizes it.

      There is the same number of people in every congressional district in the country. There is no reason that anyone anywhere should see long lines at the polls, or that all counting should not be completed by midnight election day.

      Regardless elections must have rules and those rules must be followed by all everywhere.

  13. Sanctuary Outrage: Criminal alien arrested in two murders after California released him repeatedly
    ‘Here we have catastrophic proof of the abject failure of California’s sanctuary policies,’ ICE official says. _JTN

    Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan warns of ‘outta control’ border under a Biden administration
    Homan said that Biden “wants to get rid of ICE detention. He wants to promise free healthcare. He wants to stop worksite enforcement operations. He wants to stop building the wall.” __JTN

    1. The left is celebrating the possible election of Biden – that is a mistake.
      Democrats and the left still have not gotten their act together and figured out they are massively out of sync with the people and with reality.

      By hook and crooks the left has managed to election Biden.

      But they have not learned anything.

      I have no idea what Biden will do regarding the southern border.
      But whatever he does will have consequences.

      Obama merely hinted at not prosecuting unaccompanied minors and suddenly nearly a million were trying to cross.

      Everything Biden says or does regarding the southern border will have consequences – and anything short of vigorous enforcement will have bad consequences.

      Democrats do not seem to have grasped that even 2nd and third generation children of illegal immigrants” are increasingly for border security.

      The same is true of myriads of other issues.

      Biden says that he is reverting to Obama’s foreign policy.

      That policy was disasterous – it actually emboldened Russia and Iran, and China and other beligerant countries.

      We can debate the philosophy of Trump’s foreign policy – but the FACT is the impacy globally and on the US has been incredible.

      There have been no significant acts of terror in the US. ISIL no longer exists as a faux government.

      The mideast, the world is more peacefull than it has been in the 21st century.

      Russia is irrelevant. Europe is increasingly able to defend itself against potential aggressors, and can no longer use the US as its military while deriding the US for its military.

      China is in a radically different position from 2016. Most of Asia is united in containing China.

      Biden can and may well change some of this – but it is highly unlikely he can improve any of it.

      Domestically – though Trump exagerates his own successes, there is stillno doubt that he has been economically the best president in the 21st century by far.

      All the claims by Obama that low growth was “the new normal” have been refuted.

      Obama brought unemployment slowly back to normal after the great recession – but by 2016 he had barely reached normal – and that with low Work Force participation.

      Trump brought unemployment to low levels not seen since women worked solely in the home, and the prime beneficiries of this have been working class minorities.

      I can go on and on, But Trump has left a minefield for Biden.

      Biden must somehow payoff all those who elected him AND provide a thriving vibrant economy in a peaceful world.

      Bush could not do that, Obama could not do that.
      But Trump did it. We now know for certain it can be done.

  14. If the church spent more time and energy on the people outside the walls versus inside the walls, they would not have so much resistance. Jesus spent time with people who were not like him.

    1. And He was crucified for it. Jump in. The water is fine

      Btw, the Church is both laity and the ordained with ample work to be done by the laity. Get busy

    2. You are free to criticise – even change any church you are part of.
      You are free to bemoan the massive hypocracy of most churches.

      That does not change the fact that government may not single out religions or religious practices for disparate treatment.

      Personally I would get rid of the religious carve out in the 1st amendment an instead insist that the 90th amendment has teeth.

      It is not religion that government may not burden – it is ANY rights and liberties.

      Today rights are subject to 3 levels of scrutiny. the least of which is essentially none at all. Government can infringe on the vast majority of our rights just because it wishes to.

      The 2nd level is barely better – Government merely must have a good reason – and nearly any reason is good enough.

      Only strict scrutiny is a speed bump to government infringement on rights – and all rights should be subject to strict scrutiny – not just those of religion.

  15. Looks like based on the Roberts dissent that the majority was ruling on case it did not need to (which some have previously called judicial activism) and that they were questioning the motives of the dissenters.

    1. I hope Turley sees it, but there are two great takeaways here. First, Gorsuch, at least, believes there is no “Pandemic” line of cases or special jurisprudence. Instead, the same constitutional tests apply to pandemics as they would to any other restriction on religion, speech or personal integrity (4th amendment).

      Second, Robert’s and the liberal justices’ “dignity” and “careful thought” notwithstanding, their aloofness to the costs imposed on the plaintiffs by their preferred approach is nothing short of repulsive. Why, you see, the plaintiffs can just bring the case later! You know, after spending 200 grand on legal fees, they can spend another 200 grand when the Government does this again. Boy do those liberals really think about the burdens on the poor and marginalized.

      Never mind that when restrictions return, the faithful will have already lost months of free exercise, may miss their highest holy days under threat of arrest and fines, and even when they bring the next case, they still have to suspend their freedoms (and possibly threaten their souls!) while the case is pending. Gee, what a trifle for people to deal with! Oh great “careful thinking” Roberts.

      The dissent remarkably made up a new doctrine of “temporary mootness.” Sure, the dissent has to begrudgingly acknowledge, the case cannot technically be moot under 200 years of jurisprudence, because Cuomo’s threat to take away liberty remains, but we can make a political argument that the pandemic is “rapidly changing” and do some Jedi handwaving that this somehow means the government should have maximum flexibility. Allowing the government to cynically attempt the most cut-rate “strategy” to moot a legal case is abominable, without understatement. Harvard professors like Kagan should be embarrassed for thinking this was good sense.

    2. Ignoring labels – which are constantly misused, the absolute requirement for judges is sticking to the law and the constitution as WRITTEN.

      So long as the courts do that, the people can fix bad laws or even errors in the constitution.

      But when Judges take it on themselves to rewrite the laws or the constitution – to “interpret” rather than sticking to the plain language as understood by those who ratified the constitution or wrote the laws, we have lawlessness.

      As to the lefts nonsense that this was not a controversy – that is bunk. The government does not get to play games with infringing on our rights by claiming that at this particular moment we are not doing the same bad thing we did before and could easily do again therefore the courts need not decide the case.

      If Government has violated peoples rights – there is a case for the courts to decide – even if when the case arrives at the court – government has ceased – for now.

      If your neighbor trespassed on your property and shot your dog, the case does not end because when it arrives at court the neighbor is no longer trespassing.

      I would further note that a new practice the left has engaged in is also improper. If some group sues the government to acheive a policy change, and the government settles – agreeing to the change – that is improper.

      The executive can not circumvent either the court or the legislature by consent decrees.

  16. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg was still on the Court, this would have gone 5-4 in favor of New York.

    🙄 well, if men were angels, no government would be necessary.

    Come on man!

  17. The most fundimental flaw to this decision is that it is limited to religious liberty.

    What is self evident from the arbitrary decisions of our various left wing nut governors is they do not know at all what they are doing.

    We are seeing micromanaging rule makers from the state executive who can not agree from state to state who are making it up as they go – without any regard to the actual science which they claim drives their choices.

    These people should not be making choices to restrict ANY liberties.

    We are all far better at making difficult choices on our own.

    Further each of us has the incentive to get our decisions correct – we will have to live with the consequences.

    1. “What is self evident from the arbitrary decisions of our various left wing nut governors is they do not know at all what they are doing.”

      They are taking orders from coup coup plotters and know exactly what they are doing, they just don’t care what the small business and ‘religious nuts’ think.

      1. “They are taking orders from coup coup plotters and know exactly what they are doing”

        Correctomundo!

        Very well planned and choreographed in every Democrat run State and city.

        They were telegraphing it for months.

      2. Exactly. It is no coincidence that the most left leaning governors have been instituting identical mandates for identical timeframes at precisely the same moments. They are getting marching orders, straight up.

      3. There is no highly organized conspiracy.

        There is however an enormous body of loosely ideologically aligned people – many in power who actually beleive the leftist nonsense they spout, who have an ideology that venerates the ends justifying the means and has no moral foundations.

        The result is more of a diffuse conspiracy – like minded idiots driven by the same bad ideas and lack of moral foundations acting loosely in concert often without specifically planing many aspects of the bad results they produced.

        The fact is leftism FAILS. It both fails intellectually and logically – and it fails practically and historically.

        1. Actually, John, your prognostications are often flagrantly wrong. Spectacularly and entertainingly wrong.

          1. I am not interested in a debate on the accuracy of my predictions.

            Though I am curious which predictions you think I have been spectacularly wrong about ?

            Outside of expecting that Covid would be stopped at our borders – just as SARS and MERS were – so that was a reasonable prediction, I have been pretty much on the money with respect to C19.

            I prayed we would not have the election mess we currently have. But I predicted nothing, and got what I expected.

            Regardless, It would be hard to have done worse than the experts, the press, just about anyone else regarding the election.

            Further – predictions – particularly predictions of things like elections have nothing to do with credibility regarding facts or with integrity.

            Finally, – adjectives are not arguments,.

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