SCOTUS Blocks New York's COVID-19 Restrictions on Houses of Worship, Saying They Are Not 'Narrowly Tailored'

Gov. Andrew Cuomo described his policy as a "fear-driven response," cut by a "hatchet" rather than a "scalpel."


Late Wednesday night, the Supreme Court blocked enforcement of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 restrictions on "houses of worship" after concluding that his policy probably violates the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. The Brooklyn churches and synagogues that challenged Cuomo' rules, which limit attendance at religious services to 10 people in "red" zones and 25 in "orange" zones, "have made a strong showing that the challenged restrictions violate 'the minimum requirement of neutrality' to religion," says the unsigned majority opinion.

This is the third time that the Court has considered applications for emergency injunctions against pandemic-inspired limits on religious gatherings. In the two earlier cases, involving restrictions imposed by California and Nevada, the Court said no. Those decisions were backed by Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh dissented both times. This time around, the replacement of Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett proved decisive, as the recently confirmed justice sided with Thomas et al. in granting the injunction sought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, which sued on behalf of the Orthodox synagogues it represents.

The Court has said the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause does not require religious exemptions from neutral, generally applicable laws. But it also has said laws are presumptively unconstitutional when they discriminate against religion.

New York's restrictions "cannot be viewed as neutral because they single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment," the majority says. In red zones, businesses deemed "essential"—including supermarkets, convenience stores, hardware stores, pet stores, liquor stores, laundromats, acupuncturists, banks, and various offices—operate without capacity limits. "The disparate treatment is even more striking in an orange zone," the Court notes. "While attendance at houses of worship is limited to 25 persons, even non-essential businesses may decide for themselves how many persons to admit."

Those distinctions "lead to troubling results," the justices point out. "A health department official testified about a large store in Brooklyn that could 'literally
have hundreds of people shopping there on any given day,'" they say. "Yet a
nearby church or synagogue would be prohibited from allowing more than 10 or 25 people inside for a worship service. And the Governor has stated that factories and
schools have contributed to the spread of COVID–19, but they are treated less harshly than the Diocese's churches and Agudath Israel's synagogues, which have admirable safety records."

Since Cuomo's rules are not neutral, the Court says, they can be upheld only if they survive "strict scrutiny," which requires that they be "narrowly tailored" to serve a "compelling" state interest. "Stemming the spread of COVID–19 is unquestionably a compelling interest, but it is hard to see how the challenged regulations can be regarded as 'narrowly tailored,'" it says. "They are far more restrictive than any
COVID–related regulations that have previously come before the Court, much tighter than those adopted by many other jurisdictions hard-hit by the pandemic, and far more severe than has been shown to be required to prevent the spread of the virus at the applicants' services."

Cuomo's order was prompted by COVID-19 clusters tied to some Haredi institutions in Brooklyn. But both Roman Catholic churches and synagogues affiliated with Agudath Israel in the borough have been carefully following COVID-19 safeguards, and neither have seen any outbreaks since reopening.

"Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID–19," the Court says, "but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services. Among other things, the maximum attendance at a religious service could be tied to the size of the church or synagogue." Under the challenged rules, the 10-person and 25-person limits apply regardless of a building's size. "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 justices observe.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Gorsuch questions the relevance of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, a 1905 precedent often cited as a justification for COVID-19 restrictions. "Jacobson hardly supports cutting the Constitution loose during a pandemic," he says.

In that case, the Court rejected Henning Jacobson's argument that requiring him to be vaccinated against smallpox (or pay a fine for failing to do so) violated his right to "bodily integrity," which he said was protected by "substantive due process" under the 14th Amendment. The Court "essentially applied rational basis review," Gorsuch says, which is consistent with its current approach in 14th Amendment cases that do not involve a fundamental right or a suspect classification such as race. Here, by contrast, the Court's free exercise precedents require strict scrutiny, a much tougher test.

Gorsuch also notes that Jacobson, unlike the plaintiffs in this case, was not relying on a specifically enumerated right. "Even if judges may impose emergency restrictions on rights that some of them have found hiding in the Constitution's penumbras," he says, "it does not follow that the same fate should befall the textually explicit right to religious exercise."

Finally, Gorsuch says, New York's restrictions on religious services are notably harsher than the vaccine mandate to which Jacobson objected. "In Jacobson, individuals could accept the vaccine, pay the fine, or identify a basis for exemption," he notes. "The imposition on Mr. Jacobson's claimed right to bodily integrity, thus, was avoidable and relatively modest….Here, by contrast, the State has effectively sought to ban all traditional forms of worship in affected 'zones' whenever the Governor decrees and for as long as he chooses. Nothing in Jacobson purported to address, let alone approve, such serious and long-lasting intrusions into settled constitutional rights. In fact, Jacobson explained that the challenged law survived only because it did not 'contravene the Constitution of the United States' or 'infringe any right granted or secured by that instrument.'"

Gorsuch, like Alito and Kavanaugh, is worried that the COVID-19 pandemic has become a rationale for suspending well-established constitutional rights. "Government is not free to disregard the First Amendment in times of crisis," he writes. "At a minimum, that Amendment prohibits government officials from treating religious exercises worse than comparable secular activities, unless they are pursuing a compelling interest and using the least restrictive means available. Yet recently, during the COVID pandemic, certain States seem to have ignored these long-settled principles….While the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques."

Gorsuch—who has never been shy about questioning the government's position when he thinks it conflicts with what the Constitution requires, including cases where he has reached conclusions that should appeal to progressives—underlines a point made by American University law professor Lindsay Wiley and University of Texas at Austin law professor Stephen Vladeck earlier this year: Constitutional rights are not "suspended" during an emergency. "Even if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical," he writes. "We may not shelter in place when the Constitution is under attack. Things never go well when we do."

Writing in dissent, Roberts says there is no need to grant an injunction right now, because Cuomo recently changed the color coding of the neighborhoods where the plaintiffs' churches and synagogues are located. "None of the houses of worship identified in the applications is now subject to any fixed numerical restrictions," he writes. "At these locations, the applicants can hold services with up to 50% of capacity, which is at least as favorable as the relief they currently seek." But as the majority notes, that mid-litigation switch does not eliminate the threat posed by the power Cuomo is asserting, since he can reimpose the original restrictions whenever he wants.

Breyer, joined by Kagan and Sotomayor, cites the same rationale for denying an injunction. But he also thinks "it's far from clear" that the original capacity caps, which "are indeed low," violate the Free Exercise Clause. "We have previously recognized that courts must grant elected officials 'broad' discretion when they 'undertake to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties,'" he says, quoting Roberts' concurring opinion in the California case. "That is because the 'Constitution principally entrusts the safety and the health of the people to the politically accountable officials of the States.'"

In a dissenting opinion joined by Kagan, Sotomayor questions the plaintiffs' argument that New York is treating houses of worship differently from secular venues that pose similar risks of virus transmission. The right comparison, she says, is not between religious services and the myriad secular activities that are not subject to occupancy limits. Rather, Sotomayor thinks, religious services are in the same class as "comparable secular gatherings" in theaters, lecture and music halls, and sports stadiums where "large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time." As long as a state does not treat those venues more leniently than churches and synagogues, Sotomayor says, its rules are neutral, and "that should be enough to decide this case."

Although that argument appeals to defenders of broad COVID-19 restrictions, it breaks down when you consider the reality of what New York is allowing vs. what it is prohibiting. "Large groups gather in close proximity for extended periods of time" in many of the businesses that New York has given more leeway than it allows houses of worship, including supermarkets, restaurants, factories, and big-box stores like Target.

"Even a pre-COVID Catholic Mass—typically lasting less than an hour on Sundays, less on weekdays—was shorter than many trips to a supermarket or big-box store, not to mention a nine-to-five office job," the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn notes. "Mass is now even shorter, thanks to measures undertaken proactively and voluntarily by the Diocese." As for "close proximity," that has been addressed by the physical distancing rules that the diocese and Agudath Israel both enforce.

Agudath Israel synagogues "have carefully and successfully complied with mask requirements, social distancing, and capacity constraints," the organization says. "Yet the Governor's guilt-by-religious-association restrictions have made it impossible for Applicants and their members to exercise their religious faith."

The plaintiffs in this case are prepared to follow the same rules that apply to secular establishments where the risk of virus transmission is similar. But they understandably object to rules that explicitly impose special burdens on houses of worship, especially when they are accompanied by rhetoric implying that the governor decided to target an entire religious community for the lapses of some members.

As Agudath Israel notes, Cuomo "threatened 'members of the ultra-Orthodox community' that '[i]f you do not agree to enforce the rules, then we'll close the [religious] institutions down.'" He described the COVID-19 cluster in Brooklyn as "predominantly an ultra-Orthodox cluster" and "identified 'the ultra-Orthodox community' as causing the 'problem,' putting any doubt regarding his religious targeting to rest."

Cuomo himself described his policy as "a fear-driven response," saying, "This is not a policy being written by a scalpel. This is a policy being cut by a hatchet." The Supreme Court is saying, as it has for many years, that more care is required when the government impedes religious freedom.

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  1. “I’m not playin’ chess over here, people. I’m playin’ whack-a-mole.”

    1. Governor Cuomo, let my people go … to the synagogue!

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    2. Poor sullum and unreason.

      Trump vs biden win for Trump will also be 5-4.

      1. And if he doesn’t we should put the democrats down and keep Trump by force.

  2. Moar of this needed. Yay courts!

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    2. We shouldn’t need any of this because stupid politicians who do shit like this should be fed feet first into woodchippers.

  3. Fuck Cuomo and all democrats to hell. And Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Amen

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    2. Don’t forget Roberts

      1. At least conservatives have a 5-4 edge now on the Court.

      2. Chipper him too. What a chickenshit dodge noting that the ‘red zone’ no longer applies. “We should refrain from enjoining government from strangling liberty in it’s crib until it resumes it’s active efforts” is about what he just said.

    3. The turkey was too dry and the cranberry sauce was too sweet and the green bean casserole gave me terrible flatulence!

      1. Have a ham and cheese sandwich instead.

  4. Should have been 9-0, but I’ll take it, fun watching proggies screech about the decision on Twitter.

    1. It will soon be 9-5.

      1. what a way to make a living

        1. It’s all taking and no giving.

    2. Wait until trump vs biden decision throws out ballots and election results based on the massive democrat election fraud scheme.

      They will have to make up a new word for lefty screaming and crying.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Sullum.

  6. Sweet.

    Now do the rest of us.

  7. Won’t it be great when you get the court-packing you fucking pieces of shit voted for and the supreme court turns into a rubberstamp for the permanent Democratic majority?

    1. 2020 is the year that democrat schemes get set back a generation.

  8. Wait till Biden packs the court. Gorsuch and Barrett will be completely irrelevant. But he’s your guy right Jacob? Fuck you.

    1. Its why Thomas, kavanaugh, barrett, gorsuch, and alito will vote for Trump in Trump vs biden to toss ballots and fraudulent election results.

      1. Not going to happen.

    2. If Reason had its way four years ago, the high court would already have a 6-3 liberal majority already and be happily upholding dozens of anti-liberty statutes. But at least no mean tweets, right, Sullum?

    3. He’s not going to pack the courts. he won’t have the votes to do it.

  9. I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before Me. And Cuomo is obviously a jealous God. How dare these puny humans defy His will?

    1. LMFAO

  10. Can we impeach Roberts now?

    1. I hear he’s on Epstein’s flight logs.

      1. Please be true…

    1. Nobody here speaks tamilese

      1. Some of the spam here is baffling.

      2. My college roommate spoke tamil.

        But he’s not here, Dammit, you got me.

  11. How will this affect Cuomo’s Emmy? Or perhaps will this kick it up to an Oscar?

    1. Shoulda been a Tony; it’s clearly theater.

      1. Really should be an open set of lips, to symbolize the dick-sucking by the awards committee.

  12. I am not a fan of the ruling, I think that as long as churches are treated the same as comparable businesses it is ok. But what I really don’t like is that the churches and synagogues would so strongly insist on the right to put the health of their community at risk. Again we are told that “religious freedom” means the freedom to hurt other people.

    1. They could get around this by figuring out why they wanted to treat religious gatherings differently, and then stop doing that.

      They don’t really have to have separate rules for churches.

    2. “their community” can stay home if they’re worried.

      You know who else cracked down on synagogues?

        1. Probably not with the same motivations as Warren Wilhelm Jr.

    3. Maybe read before posting?

      “A health department official testified about a large store in Brooklyn that could ‘literally
      have hundreds of people shopping there on any given day,'” they say. “Yet a
      nearby church or synagogue would be prohibited from allowing more than 10 or 25 people inside for a worship service.

      1. Stores and churches are not comparable.

        1. You can smell the tipped Fedora and black XXXL duster on this one.
          Snotty Dawkins quote in-coming in 3, 2, 1…

        2. If places like churches that aren’t churches can stay open, why not churches?

          1. Because Cuomo et. al. want government to be your God.

        3. I just had thanksgiving dinner for 14 friends and family. No masks and no social distancing.

        4. How about airplanes then?

        5. An ZIIIIIIIING go the goalposts!

          You lefty fuckheads have been claiming that “large gatherings” have been spreading the coof. You don’t have any actual proof that churches are a main cause of COVID cases, and then claim both places are “not comparable” when called out on the illogic that you and your fellow Democrats use.

          You people are Lying Ass Dogs and everything you claim is disingenuous.

        6. The church can just have some bibles for sale or some cookies or something. Problem solved.

        7. You’re right. One is explicitly protected in the constitution while the other is not.

    4. “I am not a fan of the ruling”

      Big surprise.

    5. Get up off of your damn knees.

      1. This is the correct answer.

    6. That makes no sense.

      You say “as long as churches are treated the same as comparable businesses”.

      The decision says Cuomo’s order is illegal because it treats churches more severely than comparable businesses.

      So they agree with you, but you don’t like their decision.

      1. They compared churches to stores, but that is not right. They are more like theaters. This was looked at in a different post.

        1. The decision actually rejected the ‘comparability’ standard you evidently hold so dear. That was not the issue.

          When the state creates a favored class, like ‘essential’ businesses, it must explain why religious organizations are not ‘essential’ if it restricts them. Governor Stunod and Mayor Putz never did provide that rationale and were enjoined as a result.

        2. The virus is not more deadly than flu and colds each season.

          650,000 americans die each year from heart disease.

          The kungflu hysteria hoax is being ignored by more and more americans.

        3. They should figure out what makes churches and theaters different from stores and set restrictions based on that, as opposed to targeting churches specifically. Perhaps restrictions based on densities and time?

          We expect regulations to avoid infringing on people’s fundamental rights, including rights against discrimination, and if progressives can’t figure that out, maybe they should let someone else do it.

        4. Not a single case of transmission recorded in a theatre. ANYWHERE.

          FollOW tHe ScIeNce!

    7. Let me understand your “logic”.

      1. You can imagine anything that poses a risk to you.
      2. You therefore assume the right to control other people.

      Fuck you.

    8. Well, we already knew you are not a fan of liberty period.

      “comparable businesses” Business? Comparable? What “right” do you have to put essential liberty, religious or otherwise at risk?

      Fuck off you bigoted statist slaver.

    9. “…Again we are told that “religious freedom” means the freedom to hurt other people.”

      Crawl in a hole and stay there with the rest of the cowardly pieces of lefty shit.

    10. ‘Put the community at risk’

      It’s not. Your progtard shaming falls on deaf ears here. We get it, you hate freedom and love democrat power.

    11. The rule singled out Jews, by limiting gatherings to 10. Why ten? Because that’s the prayer quorum needed for certain Jewish prayers.

      There is no science to limit gatherings to ten, instead of nine or eleven.

      Cuomo thought he could get around the 1A by crafting a rule that would shut up the Jews. Instead it made it plain as day that he was singling them out.

      Catholics just got caught in the net.

  13. Not narrowly tailored?
    How about saying the violate the First Amendment?

  14. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, even Cuomo. I hope his lonely dinner wasn’t too salty.

    1. He’s working out all his rage in his new Grammy spoken word piece.

  15. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    NO LAW

    I don’t see any exemptions here for governors who have a bug up their butts when it comes to churches.

    1. :^) Where do you see a law? This is an “executive order” my friend.

      1. The easier argument is to say ‘Congress shall make no law’, and in this instance, Congress did not. NY state did.

        1. Yes, but there is that whole pesky incorporation thing.

          Which lefties either extol or ignore depending on their whims.

  16. I had my Thanksgiving dinner a month ago, so now I’m eating stew. It’s nice but I wish it was turkey.

    Happy thanksgiving anyway, America.

  17. 12,500 Washington Post commenters hate religion and the religious, and hope they all die, not to mention the Supreme Court, per the comments here. Hate is what you can expect from the Democrats for the next four years or longer.

  18. Well, thankfully there’s still freedom of speech and freedom of association so Cuomo is free to continue being as antisemitic as he pleases. I don’t know what he’s got against the Jews but he’s definitely got it bad. Perhaps because hating on the Jews is the only acceptable form of bigotry left among Leftists and he’s just sublimating his hatred of black and brown and queer and female people.

    1. It could simply be that he doesn’t like the sort of Jews who vote Republican.

      1. That generally being the kind who actually practice the religious part.

        He knows he is not putting off any of the secular Jews.

  19. Nick Gillespie hasn’t been this excited about an election outcome since Obama’s first term:

    “The Grownups are Back in Charge”!

    1. A dissenting opinion in the form of an obscure Tasmin Archer song.

    2. Gillespie is gonna be very upset when the SCoTUS rules on favor of Trump in Trump vs biden.

      I sure the jacket was upset when thomas and the SCoTUS voted against democrat election fraud in Bush vs gore.

    3. Yay corporatism and graft!

      Free minds and free markets my ass.

    4. Yep, we’re going straight back to how it’s our “Libertarian Moment” once again: things have never been better because of the variety of eggplants, and democrats bear absolutely no responsibility whatsoever whatsoever for deficits and the debt.

      And while most normal Americans are now praying that Biden can somehow survive for four years, Gillespie is one of those hoping he dies as quickly as possible so that the female Block Yomomma can take over.

    5. Nick always wanted to be accepted as a koastal kool-kid, poor guy.

      1. The Buffalo is just too strong in him.

  20. Trump only lost NY state by some 900,000 votes in 2020.

    Same with Illinois.

    Voter demographics are not kind to democrats.

    1. The GOP flipped 4 House seats in Commifornia. Northern NY looks pretty republican.

      The GoP is now within margin to have a majority in the House after Blue states lose House seats to red states with Census 2020. Poor pelosi.

      1. Clinton county went 52/46 for Trump.

    2. How much did Trump lose NY in 2016?

  21. “Chief Justice John Roberts and three liberal justices dissented.”

    The left is really embarrassing themselves on religious liberty here. Why should the left be taken seriously on any other topic if they won’t take religious liberty seriously?

    The left is nothing but a giant ball of rationalizations. They decide what they want to do first and look for a rationalization later. When’s the last time you saw someone on the left say they couldn’t do what they wanted because it’s unconstitutional?

    1. I recall Obama saying something was unconstitutional before he did it.

    2. They never seem to get that our ancestors left our shithole countries (even Western Europe) for a reason and that reason wasn’t to vote for them.

    3. Ken, before they decide what they want to do, they start with the assumptions that (1) they have the right to decide for others and (2) they have the omniscient ability to decide in some “good” way.

      As for constitutionality, that is not a thing.

  22. In other news, it turns out the entire Cuomo family are inbred morons.

    Film at 11.

    1. Andy’s brother will do a soft-ball ‘interview’ with him about this.

  23. The Supreme Court yesterday enjoined enforcement of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 restrictions on “houses of worship,” concluding that they probably violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom.

    Emphasis added. A “conclusion” from the “Supreme” Court?

  24. “That is because the ‘Constitution principally entrusts the safety and the health of the people to the politically accountable officials of the States.'”

    I guess whether the Constitution says this or not, it does not matter to the nannies, Karens, control freaks, and sheeple that make up a large part of the country.

  25. After reading, and watching the video here

    I have my own thoughts on hatchets vs. scalpels. Actually more like torches and pitchforks.

    There have been no excess deaths in 2020.

    When Briand looked at the 2020 data during that seasonal period, COVID-19-related deaths exceeded deaths from heart diseases. This was highly unusual since heart disease has always prevailed as the leading cause of deaths. However, when taking a closer look at the death numbers, she noted something strange. As Briand compared the number of deaths per cause during that period in 2020 to 2018, she noticed that instead of the expected drastic increase across all causes, there was a significant decrease in deaths due to heart disease. Even more surprising, as seen in the graph below, this sudden decline in deaths is observed for all other causes.

    Why Johns Hopkins thought to suppress this escapes any acceptable explanation. If it is flawed then they need to identify the error and correct it, not try to hide it away.

    But, I’m sure the ‘science guys’ here will be all over this Monday morning…

    1. Thanks for the link. Good read.

    2. Citing a site which claims authority from a novel regarding alien contact puts you in the ‘are your serious?’ bucket.
      Find one which has big-foot proof next.

      1. Johns Hopkins claims authority from a novel?


        1. Which messenger are you trying to shoot?

    3. If you look at the webinar, prof. Briand doesn’t draw the conclusions that the student newspaper reported. She invites viewers to review data with her while they consider explanations for *estimated* CDC death totals varying from what is expected.

      Basically she’s pointing out accounting errors, not drawing medical conclusions. The student newspaper had it wrong.

  26. So we’re back to the gloves, huh?

    I think Cuomo’s excessive irrational rule are the actions of a man with a guilty conscience.

    He’s trying to compensate for the nursing homes fiasco.

    His own private Tell-Tale Heart.

    1. Well, would you jerk off union officials without gloves?

    2. The gloves don’t even fit because he has tiny hands….

  27. Fredo’s asshole brother should be behind bars without bail pending trial for thousands of counts of murder, but justice is rare in this world. Mao got to die in his own bed, after all.


  28. Remember how “Quisling” became a noun?, Well, we have a new “Newsom” today:

    “Denver Mayor Travels Out of State for Thanksgiving after Warnings Against Holiday Travel ”
    […]”The mayor (D) of Denver, Colo. is traveling out-of-state to celebrate Thanksgiving, after issuing warnings that people should stay at home and only spend the holiday with people living in their household, if possible…”

    1. “Trump” will become a noun synonymous with “sore loser”.

      1. WK becomes noun for raging TDS victim.
        Fuck off and die; your family with thank you, and the world will be measurably more intelligent.

      2. No faggot, it won’t.

      3. I really don’t give a shit about you personally, but I’m curious how this obsession affects the life of someone as riddled with it as you.
        Does your family not invite you to gatherings given the embarrassment you cause?
        How many minutes a day do you avoid thinking about Trump? Seconds?
        Do your acquaintances snicker behind your back, or do you only associate with equally-obsessed twits?
        Have you been fired as a result of your inability to focus on your jobs?

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  30. Meanwhile the radical ideolog, Jeffery Sachs writes on CNN today,
    “Supreme Court’s scientifically illiterate decision will cost lives”

    Of course the illiterate one is Sachs himself.

  31. “Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum.”
    ~ P. J. O’Rourke

    Individuals are caught between two authorities, government endangering our liberty and religious endangering our health, concerned only with advancing their own power and interests.

    1. You seem to ignore how one of those uses coercion, where the other is purely persuasive.
      You need to look up ‘false equivalence’.

      1. No.

        They both use coercion via fear. The government authorities’ policeman’s club is, though, a cruder weapon for inducing that fear than the religious authorities’ shaming, shunning, and superstitions. Which is the crueler, if not cruder, and most effective tool of fear and coercion remains an open question.

        1. “…They both use coercion via fear…”
          Now you need to look up ‘special pleading’ and ‘bullshit’.

  32. John Roberts is a stooge. Dubya fucked up royally putting this asshole on the bench.

  33. Nothing here about Trump, in one if his finer acts, pardoning Flynn; up there with appointing ACB.
    The WKs here will scream at the top of their lungs, and who could blame the scumbags?
    Of those ’30 INDICTMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!’, Flynn was about the only one with close, recent ties to Trump and (supposedly) wasn’t charged with an unpaid parking ticket, or a late library book return, so it represents the WKs’ last claim to a ‘deserved’ 4-year investigation of (supposedly) Trump. It was in fact, a fishing expedition looking at pretty much anyone who knew him over the past 30 years or so, and resulting in all those indictments for late book returns and parking tickets and nothing else.
    WKs are pretty much immune to this information; they’re stupid that way, along with many others.
    By such bullshit is Flynn’s indictment claimed to be valid, and Trump’s pardon seen as ‘dereliction of duty’!
    First hint: Even if your fantasies regarding Flynn were correct (they aren’t), the POTUS ability to pardon is unlimited; look what Clinton did at the end of his term, you pieces of shit.
    And then, WKs, feast your eyes on someone who originally thought Flynn got his due, and then watched the continuing slime-bucket of the ‘investigation’ of Trump:

    1. While I’m glad that Flynn’s ordeal is over, I’m disgusted that neither Sullivan, nor any of the assholes who participated in this vicious persecution of an innocent man will suffer any consequences at all. Justice in this case will not be done until Sullivan, Strzok, Comey, Brennan, and about a dozen other scumbags are forced to pay Flynn every red cent they have between them for violating his civil rights under color of authority, AND get beaten into a coma.


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