Amy Coney Barrett has issued her first written opinion, and it announces her joining a holding that Calfornia cannot apply most of its anti-COVID measures against religious institutions. (This is the “moderate” position among the Court’s Republican majority — remarkably, Thomas and Gorsuch would prevent any of the public health measures from being applied, including the prohibition on the demonstrably extremely dangerous practice of indoor singing.) It seems appropriate that most of the early Supreme Court work of the Justice installed on the Court in large measure to overrule Roe v. Wade has been devoted to killing people.
As Kagan points out, in all of their variants the holdings of the Supreme COurt’s Republicans are senseless:
The California orders do not discriminate against religious institutions, but treat them the same as secular institutions and activities that pose a similar risk:
Gorsuch’s opinion makes a lot out of the fact that HOLLYWOOD is exempt from some of the regulation that are otherwise applicable, ignoring the fact that some workplaces can routinely test workers in was that are obvious infeasible and unenforceable for religious services:
The Court requires the state, then, to put the health of its citizens at risk by forcing it to treat religious services similarly to activities that pose much less risk:
“In the worst public health crisis in a century,” concludes Kagan, “this foray into armchair epidemiology cannot end well.” Indeed. The Roberts Court continues to move to the right of the Fuller Court on public health emergency issues.