October 25, 2020

Saints Edward Media

For Peace and Order

Amy Coney Barrett’s Vexing Covid-19 Lockdown Ruling

As America advances toward the most pivotal election in American history, it is also bracing for what will undoubtedly be one of the most histrionic confirmation processes any Supreme Court nominee has ever seen (A bold statement after Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018) 

Ahead of President Trump’s recent announcement of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s SCOTUS seat, Americans are plunged even further into the polarities of their respective positions, eager for either swift approval or protracted criticism of Barrett. 

While the left stands at the ready to denigrate Barrett’s devotion to her Catholic faith, which is beautifully demonstrated in her marriage and family, the right stands equally as ready to defend her on exactly those merits and more: her commitment to defending the unborn.

In an election year which has bared witness to stunning admissions that Planned Parenthood is guilty of illegally harvesting and selling aborted baby body parts, and championing even late term abortion and infanticide as a human right owed to all women, abortion is understandably a paramount issue this election cycle, and all the more now that a SCOTUS vacancy may determine the ultimate fate of Roe v. Wade.

While Roe v. Wade is regarded as the notorious litmus test in the examination of every Supreme Court nominee since its decision, and will surely be regarded as such ten-fold as its future hangs in the balance, there is a matter of urgent, and potentially grave concern which has garnered little to no attention from any media or politicians entirely. One which will, with little question, have significant implications in our Covid-frenzied world. 

Earlier this month, Barrett, as a Circuit Judge for the 7th Circuit on the U.S. Court of Appeals, issued a decision for Illinois Republican Party v. J.B. Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, wherein she upheld the district court’s earlier order denying preliminary injunctive relief to “The Republicans,” as referenced in her decision. 

The lawsuit was filed in response to Governor Pritzker’s Covid-19 Executive Order which asserted that it did not limit the free exercise of religion, but encouraged religious leaders and organizations to follow recommended practices set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Those guidelines coincided with essentially identical guidelines instituted in other states, as referenced in the decision, such as providing services online, in drive-in format, or outdoors- all complete with masks and social distancing. Additionally, indoor services, it was suggested, should be limited to 10 people. 

The same exemptions were “enjoyed” by the emergency and governmental functions alike, she said in her decision. Otherwise, the governor’s order would impose a mandatory 50 person cap on gatherings.

The Illinois Republican Party sued the governor on account of the EO’s violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Their argument further asserted that the governor’s enforcement of gatherings were arbitrary and inconsistent as he made an appearance at a Black Lives Matter protest himself, endorsing the gathering of crowds well into the thousands. 

In Barrett’s decision, she references a Supreme Court case which was decided in 1905 called Jacobson v. Massachusetts.

“…The Supreme Court addressed this type of measure more than a century ago in Jacobson v, Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905). The district court appropriately looked to Jacobson for guidance, and so do we. The question the Court faced there concerned vaccination requirements that the City of Cambridge had put in place in response to a smallpox epidemic.”

“Faced with a lawsuit by a man who did not wish to be vaccinated, and who contended that the City’s requirement violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to liberty, The Court ruled for the City. In so doing, it held that it was appropriate to defer to the City’s assessment of the value of vaccinations-an assessment, it noted, that was shared ‘by the mass of the people, as well as by most members of the medical profession…and in most civilized nations’.”

Before the introduction of the smallpox vaccine in 1796, 7.6% of deaths were caused by the disease. Today the mortality rate is 1% for the minor form of the disease, and 30% for the major form. These numbers stand in stark contrast to Covid-19 mortality rates, which have been so miscalculated and misreported that to even begin a coherent analysis of such numbers is not only ill-advised, but profane.

Most recently, the CDC has stated that mutations of the coronavirus may make masks ineffective, setting the public on edge and eager for the “race for a vaccine” to come to its triumphant end. Meanwhile, hospitals have been caught “fudging” death certificates in the absence of any clear indication that coronavirus was ever the cause of death or even associated with the death of a patient. Pneumonia and flu deaths have mysteriously plummeted while Covid deaths have been inflated. The CDC website openly admits that these numbers may be lumped together, leaving Americans and global citizens alike reluctant to trust these figures, let alone any excessive mandates that have been going on well beyond “15 days to slow the spread.”

Currently, school children are subject to draconian measures that more closely resemble prisons than classrooms- that is, if they have been given the privilege of attending school at all. Small businesses continue to be crushed under the heel of restrictions which more closely resemble a massive transfer of wealth in which Walmart and Amazon reap the greatest rewards, than for the good of the “public health.” As many seem to have forgotten, countless elderly have died or are expected to die alone in nursing and assisted living facilities- of loneliness and neglect. Suicide rates have skyrocketed as more and more people are succumbing to the mental effects of isolation and helplessness.

One has to wonder how any logical, liberty-minded person could not see the irrationality and the depravity of these measures on the people they so valiantly claim to be protecting.

Nevertheless, Barrett asserts in her decision that “…at this stage of the pandemic, Jacobson takes off the table any general challenge to EO43 based on the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of liberty…,” comparing the governor’s executive order to the smallpox epidemic which is designed to address a “serious public health crisis.”

Furthermore, she asserts that the executive order “permissibly accommodates religious activities.” She supports this position by citing several cases which demonstrate the Supreme Court’s holding that the state may accommodate religious activities without violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. 

She concedes that “We understand the point the Republicans are making: EO43 draws lines based on the purpose of the gathering, and the type of speech that is taking place sheds light on that purpose…,” but goes on to say that “Because the exercise of religion involves more than simple speech, the equivalency urged on us by the Republicans between political speech and religious exercise is a false one.” “Free exercise of religion,” she argues, enjoys special constitutional protection, and the Governor was gracious enough to “carve out some room for religion” even when he didn’t do so for “other activities.” In other words, what do “The Republicans” have to complain about? Can’t they just pipe down and stop being so selfish about their ‘rights?’

“The state is free to ‘equalize up’ or ‘equalize down’,” she says, “If there were a problem with the religious exercise carve-out…the state would be entitled to return to a regime in which even religious gatherings are subject to a mandatory cap.”

She closes her argument with some words on the governor’s involvement in Black Lives Matter, taking a guarded stance on such action while in the same breath admitting that the “problems” of the time are due to criminal mobs and not peaceful protesters. 

As we reach the seventh month of Covid-19 mandates, we can expect to see many more lawsuits clogging the judicial system. People the world over are wising up to the fraud of this “Pandemic.” They understand that the liberties we have taken for granted are truly at risk, and the numbers of them continue to grow as each day passes. 

If the Supreme Court is still Supreme, then the Justice who fills Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat will need to impress upon the public their true, heartfelt commitment to the protection of justice for the people and our Constitution, rather than for the state. After all, how can we be sure that justice for the unborn will be done, if the same is not extended to us in other matters of bodily autonomy, such as forced vaccination, as Jacobson v. Massachusetts permits? As Amy Coney Barrett is concerned, this very telling decision should disqualify her from nomination entirely.

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