Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch slammed America’s pandemic response as one of “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country.”
Gorsuch’s scorching take came as the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal seeking to preserve Title 42, the pandemic-era public health measure implemented by President Trump that allowed the US to quickly expel certain asylum seekers.
Title 42 expired this month.
While the court responded to the case in an unsigned, single paragraph order, in an attached eight-page statement, Gorsuch wrote a caustic, wide-ranging review of local, state and federal emergency decrees issued during the pandemic, including vaccine mandates, the federal eviction moratorium, and lockdown orders which forced school closures and restricted church services.
“Executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale,” the Trump-nominee wrote in the Thursday opinion.
“Governors and local leaders imposed lockdown orders forcing people to remain in their homes.
“They shuttered businesses and schools, public and private.”
Gorsuch has previously criticized pandemic-era emergency measures, including dissenting from orders handed down by the court during the pandemic that left emergency decrees in place.
He also was the only justice to not wear a mask in the court as the omicron variant surged in January 2022.
Gorsuch shared in the review what he believed might be lessons learned over the course of the past three years.
“Fear and the desire for safety are powerful forces. They can lead to a clamor for action — almost any action — as long as someone does something to address a perceived threat,” he wrote.
“A leader or an expert who claims he can fix everything, if only we do exactly as he says, can prove an irresistible force.”
Another lesson was that “the concentration of power in the hands of so few may be efficient and sometimes popular,” he wrote.
“But it does not tend toward sound government.”
With Post wires
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