Once again on Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Court’s liberals against First Amendment religious freedom protections. In a stunning 5-4 ruling against Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in Nevada that echoed a similar ruling in May against a California church, the SCOTUS refused to hear an appeal arguing that churches, synagogues and mosques shouldn’t have to comply with the Democratic Governor’s 50-person limit on worship services to combat COVID-19.
This is blatantly discriminatory against people of faith because it applies only to them. In a blistering dissent, Justice Neil Gorsuch noted that the restriction doesn’t apply to casinos or movie theaters, which could easily be packing in hundreds of people with far fewer health precautions than places of worship are imposing. Not to mention all the anti-police protests for which restrictions never apply, since they’re an exercise of First Amendment rights that liberal officials agree with.
Sen. Ted Cruz sarcastically tweeted that churches should install craps tables; then maybe they’d be allowed to open. My reaction was blunter: I called on Roberts to repent and resign:
Here’s another great commentary by Andrea Widburg on this outrageous ruling that calls it “a constitutional no-brainer.” She writes that “There’s something very wrong at the Supreme Court, and Justice Roberts seems to sit at the heart of the problem.” She adds that the only way to insure a real conservative majority on the Court is to reelect Trump so that he can make more appointments, and if Biden is elected, the “Constitution will be abandoned for the foreseeable future.”
(Ms. Widburg also makes the excellent point that Nevada’s COVID-19 death rate is only 0.02%, with almost all the cases concentrated near Las Vegas, more than 400 miles away from the church. Yet the casinos can open and the church cant’?)
Roberts seems to believe that his job is not to declare unconstitutional laws unconstitutional (it's actually his #1 job), but to find some legal excuse to justify whatever the government does, on the theory that if elected officials did it, then the people must want it. The Bill of Rights does not exist to insure that the government or even the majority always get what they want but to protect the people from their own government. It’s also not a list of rights granted by government until they have a good reason to take them away. It’s a list of God-given rights granted to every American by their Creator that the government has no power to take away.
If Chief Justice Roberts can’t figure out the difference by this stage of his career, then it’s time to find a new career.