New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) had the nerve to accuse the Supreme Court of politicizing the coronavirus pandemic this week, ignoring the fact that he has been doing the same thing from the very beginning.
Cuomo was infuriated that the Supreme Court struck down his regulations that he claimed would severely limit the size of worship services in certain areas of the state. The Democrat governor fired back by saying, “You have a different court, and I think that was the statement that the court was making. We know who [President Trump] appointed to the court. We know their ideology.”
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He’s conveniently not mentioning the fact that the Supreme Court mainly struck down his regulations in a 5-4 vote because it found that his COVID-19 response was based more on politics than science. The highest court in the land specifically pointed out that many non-religious activities have not been restricted (or have been differently restricted) by Cuomo for no apparent reason other than the fact that liberals enjoy to do them
“It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000–seat church or 400-seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows,” the opinion of the Supreme Court stated.
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Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, called out the politics of all of this in his concurrence. He wrote:
People may gather inside for extended periods in bus stations and airports, in laundromats and banks, in hardware stores and liquor shops. No apparent reason exists why people may not gather, subject to identical restrictions, in churches or synagogues, especially when religious institutions have made plain that they stand ready, able, and willing to follow all the safety precautions required of “essential” businesses and perhaps more besides.
The only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as “essential” as what happens in secular spaces. Indeed, the Governor is remarkably frank about this: In his judgment laundry and liquor, travel and tools are all “essential” while traditional religious exercises are not. That is exactly the kind of discrimination the First Amendment forbids.
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“[A]ccording 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,” Gorsuch added. “Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the three progressive justices in the minority on this 5-4 vote, and new Justice Amy Coney Barrett voted with conservatives to make the majority.
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