Gorsuch gives scathing overview of COVID-era: ‘Fear and the desire for safety are powerful forces’

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch used statements in the case over the Title 42 public health order to explain how civil liberties were trampled in the era of COVID-19 and how the United States could get out of it. A poignant overview of the lessons to be learned.

“One of the lessons might be this: Fear and the need for safety are powerful forces. It could lead to calls for action,” the judge wrote.

“Any leader or expert who claims that if you do as he says, you can solve everything, proves an irresistible force. It’s just a nudge.” We demand that laws be adopted by our legislative representatives and that we accept the rule of law.

Gorsuch said this article when a judge dismissed a pending appeal over the termination of Public Health Order Title 42, which was used from March 2020 to May this year to expedite the deportation of immigrants at the southern border. was writing It ended with the cancellation of the national emergency declaration due to the new coronavirus infection.

Scotas Dismisses Republican-Led State Appeal Over Term of Title 42 Order

Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch stands during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, April 23, 2021. (Erin Schaff/New York Times, AP, Pool, via File) (Erin Schaff/New York Times via AP, Poole, Files)

The Biden administration had sought to end the order in 2022, but was blocked by a Republican state appeal. After facing an ACLU lawsuit, the court ordered the termination of Title 42 in December. But the Supreme Court granted a pending request from 19 Republican states, which argued that states could intervene to challenge the summary judgment order. The court was expected to rule on its own terms, but that was waived as the order on its own terms expired.

Focusing on the legal exchanges that followed Title 42, Gorsuch looked at the pandemic response as a whole, writing that the lawsuit “shows the turmoil we’ve been through over the past three years.” How our laws are made and how our freedoms are protected. “

He also gave an example where the United States may have “experienced the greatest violation of civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country.”

“Administrative officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale. Governors and local leaders issued lockdown orders, forcing people to stay at home. Businesses and schools, both public and private, were closed. They closed churches while allowing casinos and other preferential treatment, threatened offenders with civil as well as criminal sanctions, monitored church parking lots, recorded license plates, It issued a notice warning that attending even an outdoor worship service that meets all social distancing and hygiene requirements can be a felony. It forced individuals to fight for their freedom in court based on a schedule and changed their color-coded plans when court defeat seemed imminent,” he said.

Biden administration ‘encouraged’ by lowering post-Title 42 numbers, also calls for caution in coming weeks

At the federal level, he stressed not only immigration legislation, but also mandatory vaccinations, regulation of landlord-tenant relationships, and pressure on social media companies to curb “misinformation.”

He also put the court in the spotlight. “In cases like this one, the courts have even allowed themselves to be used to perpetuate emergency public health legislation for security purposes, which itself is a form of litigation emergency legislation.”

Another lesson from the pandemic, he said, is that “concentrating power in a very small number may be efficient and popular at times, but it does not tend towards sound government.” That’s what I said.

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He argued that decisions made through the legislative process are wiser than “decisions announced on the fly” made by a few people. He also suggested that state-level officials reconsider the scope of emergency powers.

“Don’t get me wrong, there are times when decisive administrative action is necessary and appropriate. Rule by statute risks leaving us all with a shell of democracy and civil liberties that is “equally empty,” he said.


On the other hand, the end of Title 42 also raised concerns that new immigrants would enter the United States. The number surged to 10,000 a day just days before the order expired, but has since declined. Officials say the number of immigrants has fallen in recent days. There are 3,000 and 4,000 encounters per day.

Fox News’ Shannon Bream and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

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