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Judicial quotes of the year – Justice Neil Gorsuch

“…we may not shelter in place when the Constitution is under attack. Things never go well when we do.”

Justice Gorsuch in ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK v. ANDREW M. CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK. The Supreme Court has injuncted pending trial Cuomo’s executive order restricting religious observance in New York, noting that although the original order had been changed since the proceedings started (a device to make the litigation moot), that actually made it more important, as a defence against arbitrary state power.

Now, just as this Court was preparing to act on their applications, the Governor loosened his restrictions, all while continuing to assert the power to tighten them again anytime as conditions warrant. So if we dismissed this case, nothing would prevent the Governor from reinstating the challenged restrictions tomorrow. And by the time a new challenge might work its way to us, he could just change them again. The Governor has fought this case at every step of the way. To turn away religious leaders bringing meritorious claims just because the Governor decided to hit the “off ” switch in the shadow of our review would be, in my view, just another sacrifice of fundamental rights in the name of judicial modesty.

The judgment of Gorsuch is full of robust language, such as:

It is time—past time—to make plain that, 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.

Bear in mind that here, the Keep Britain Free judicial review was thrown out at the English High Court partly on the basis that by the time the court heard it, the restrictions had changed (whilst the power to impose them remained). This is now under (leisurely) appeal in the English Court of Appeal. How nice it would be to have an appellate court in the country that could produce such robust defences of liberty and the rule of law, e.g.

Even if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical.

And a splendid dig:

Even if judges may impose emergency restrictions on rights that some of them have found hiding in the Constitution’s penumbras, it does not follow that the same fate should befall the textually explicit right to religious exercise.

And this:

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.” Id., at 25.
Tellingly no Justice now disputes any of these points. Nor does any Justice seek to explain why anything other than our usual constitutional standards should apply during the current pandemic.

Whilst the United States Supreme Court is so constituted, there is hope for the Republic, even though this was a 5-4 victory. Meanwhile in the UK, any hope of help from the courts is a deranged fantasy. But the courts may serve a purpose in demonstrating that point.

35 comments to Judicial quotes of the year – Justice Neil Gorsuch

  • Snorri Godhi

    Good to hear some good news.
    But it would help to know what “Jacobson” refers to.

  • Paul Marks

    Excellent legal reasoning from Justice Gorsuch.

    Notice that Chief Justice Roberts does not even pretend to care about the Constitution any more – I remember when he upheld Obamacare, various people told me “he is only doing this to preserve the authority of the Supreme Court to protect the Bill of Rights” – leaving aside the fact that Obamacare violates the Tenth Amendment (that is part of the Bill of Rights) in that the Constitution gives the Federal Government no authority to make the general population (outside D.C.) buy health insurance, the recent case (and many other cases in recent years) are very revealing.

    The Constitution, in this case the First Amendment, clearly says one thing – and Chief Justice Roberts rules the opposite way, again and again and again.

    Senator Cruz (not being on the Court) can use blunt language about Chief Justice Roberts – and does.

    I am pleased that, at least today, Chief Justice Roberts is in the minority.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – the last case that the Supreme Court heard in this area concerned Nevada.

    In that case – Chief Justice Roberts ruled that was nothing wrong with churches being subjected to harsher regulations than gambling dens.

    To use correct legal language – this is an example of Chief Justice Roberts extracting-the-urine (something he does in many cases – “yes President Trump does have the legal power to remove an Executive Order by President Obama – BUT the paper work has not been done correctly, SO” (or some such).

    His “reasoning” on the Census Case (whether or not their should be a citizenship question – which was the original purpose of the census) was classic – yes you can have such a question, but there needs to be a delay till….. (till after the census is over).

    Back to Covid…..

    There is a fierce rivalry between Governor Cuomo of New York and Governor Murphy of New Jersey.

    Both are very eager to have the highest death rate in the world – and to do as much damage to society as possible.

    But which has done more harm? Governor Murphy? Or Governor Cuomo?

    It is hotly contested.

    Almost needless to say – the mainstream media (who carefully SMEAR or COVER UP Covid treatments – in order to increase deaths) love both Governors.

    Yet another study out soon – yet again EARLY treatment with the correct dosage of hydroxychloroquine, zinc sulphate and azithromycin, reduced the rate of hospitalisation by over 80%.

    It will be ignored – like all the other evidence since March.

    By the way – if you are fit (not fat like me) and your vitamin D levels are high – you are very unlikely to be seriously hit by Covid 19.

    This is the real reason that Covid 19 has had a far lower death rate in Japan.

    They do not tend to be vitamin D deficient – and they do NOT tend to be fat like me.

    Governor Cuomo?

    He makes it as HARD as possible for people to get effective EARLY treatment (which is vital) – and he issued orders FORCING nursing homes to accept infected people, so that the disease could kill lots of elderly and already sick people in the nursing homes.

    Many Democrats have used such tactics – a cynic would say that they also need large numbers of deaths in order to blame them on “Trump”.

  • Paul Marks

    Having attacked Democrats it is only fair to attack Republicans as well.

    Many Republicans say “hydroxychloroquine” – not “EARLY treatment with hydroxychloroquine, and zinc sulphate and azithromycin (or doxycycline) at the correct doses”.

    Being lazy (just saying hydroxychloroquine) can cost a lot of lives.

    As can leaving out health advice to get fit and keep up vitamin D. levels – to reduce the risk of sickness in the first place.

  • cavehobbit

    Would if that same logic had applied in a recent Second Amendment case from NY where the Court mooted the case for the similar reason that the NY law had changed.

  • Mr Ed

    Snorri,

    Jacobsen is a reference to a 1905 case concerning coerced smallpox vaccination. Gorsuch refers to it more fully higher up in the judgment. I was mindful of TLDR (unless it is a Sage of Kettering triple broadside), so I erred on the side of brevity, sorry. Here is an excerpt from Gorsuch’s speech prior to the quote:

    To justify its result, the concurrence reached back 100 years in the U. S. Reports to grab hold of our decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11 (1905). But Jacobson hardly supports cutting the Constitution loose during a pandemic. That decision involved an entirely different mode of analysis, an entirely different right, and an entirely different kind of restriction.
    Start with the mode of analysis. Although Jacobson pre- dated the modern tiers of scrutiny, this Court essentially applied rational basis review to Henning Jacobson’s challenge to a state law that, in light of an ongoing smallpox pandemic, required individuals to take a vaccine, pay a $5 fine, or establish that they qualified for an exemption. Id., at 25 (asking whether the State’s scheme was “reasonable”); id., at 27 (same); id., at 28 (same). Rational basis review is the test this Court normally applies to Fourteenth Amendment challenges, so long as they do not involve suspect classifications based on race or some other ground, or a claim of fundamental right.

    I have to say that our American friends’ judges lack one thing found in most British judgments (and so many litigants-in-person drafted pleadings); the marvellous invention of consecutively-numbered paragraphs.

  • People commenting above on less admirable rulings in ‘recent cases’ need to distinguish “before Amy Coney Barrett” and “after Amy Coney Barrett” (formally October 27, but I’ve a notion she did not contribute to the decision in all cases already in process of being decided by that date).

    This was a 5-4 case. Without Amy, Chief Justice Roberts’ tie-breaking vote would have made it a 4-4 ruling the other way, and we would be praising Neil’s accurate but sadly overruled language.

    Any judge can – and some will – present a varied impression over time from the PoV of our own (infinitely wise, of course 🙂 ) opinions on how each case should have been decided. But it takes a full five judges to decide cases against the wishes of Chief Justice Roberts – who presents an impression that never much impressed me, and seems to be becoming less varied with time. I will be glad to discover I am wrong, but have a feeling that the swing judge has swung.

  • Jim

    “This is now under (leisurely) appeal in the English Court of Appeal. How nice it would be to have an appellate court in the country that could produce such robust defences of liberty and the rule of law”

    The courts can move bloody quickly when someone wants to try and stymie Brexit.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Thank you, Mr Ed!

    As for Paul’s remarks:

    By the way – if you are fit (not fat like me) and your vitamin D levels are high – you are very unlikely to be seriously hit by Covid 19.

    In addition to vitamin D, i also take zinc every morning. Actually, a mixture of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. I have also lost at least 5 Kg in the last couple of years without even trying, and i am not sure why (there are several possible reasons); but i am sure that it is not muscle that i lost.

    I have a friend in Italy, a little over 60. IIRC he said that the last time he used the scale, his weight was about 150 Kg. (He is about 6′ tall.) He got covid19 and survived. But after being discharged, he had to use oxygen at home for a while.

    Many Democrats have used such tactics – a cynic would say that they also need large numbers of deaths in order to blame them on “Trump”.

    Cuomo needed a large number of deaths to claim that he won a major victory. If he had prevented the deaths, who would have taken notice?

    It’s the same for Sweden: people talk about it because they did not implement a lockdown in spite of a large number of deaths. But if there had not been a large number of deaths, they would not have been praised for not locking down.

  • Eric

    You can tell who has political clout by the list of “essential” businesses exempt from Covid restrictions. Here in California the churches are closed, but Hollywood studios can still make movies.

  • bobby b

    CJ Roberts would have, I think, made a much better J than he makes a CJ.

    It’s now “the Roberts Court”, and so he has to be aware not only of the merits of his legal reasoning, but of his place in history. I think he sees his place in history as the man who saved the USSC from being destroyed by its politicization and resulting undue power.

    So he seeks at every turn to make the USSC less important, less controversial, less of an ultimate voice, and more a minor backwater court ruling on procedural questions arising from the government structure set out in the US Constitution.

    He doesn’t see the Supreme Court’s proper role as involving the deciding of great questions and issues in society. That role is properly split between the President and Congress in his mind. I’m sure he sees himself as the influence that ends the discovery and importance of penumbras.

    And I find that I can’t disagree with him in that conclusion.

    But unfortunately he’s seeking to do this at exactly the wrong time, when activist USSCs of the past have already transformed society, and we need to re-examine many of those rulings and philosophies. So, he’s stuck as someone with (in my mind) a correct view of what the USSC is at a time when we cannot afford to simply end its importance. You don’t insist on dropping the pot limit right after the other side has taken most of your stake.

    Roberts wants to disempower the Court, but his timing leaves a Court-altered society. He needs to back the Court out more gradually.

  • Rob

    A judge interpreting the Law as it was written. How quaint and old-fashioned!

  • John Lewis

    Paul,

    https://nypost.com/2020/11/23/ben-stiller-teases-love-guv-andrew-cuomo-about-emmy-win/

    Cuomo awarded an Emmy. Having stolen the election the establishment is now gleefully re-writing history and taking the piss out of the rest of America (boot stamping on face forever).

  • John Lewis

    ….and at something approaching the speed of light if your name is Robinson.

  • John Lewis

    Ironically it may be down to a Democrat, Joe Manchin, to prevent additional activists being appointed to an expanded USSC in order to prevent anything so reactionary ever happening again.

  • Douglas2

    Snorri –

    Further on Jacobsen –

    in 1905 Massachusetts wanted everyone to get vaccinated for Smallpox, Jacobsen did not want to be vaccinated.

    Quoting from an article at Volokh:

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court observed, “[i]f a person should deem it important that vaccination should not be performed in his case, and the authorities should think otherwise, it is not in their power to vaccinate him by force, and the worst that could happen to him under the statute would be the payment of the penalty of $5.

    This has been widely misread as “the state can force you to be vaccinated” rather than as “the state can mandate that you can be vaccinated and fine you if you don’t allow it”.

    Perhaps a subtle difference, but the misreading has recently been used in support bans in some 150 different court challenges to COVID-related bans or restrictions on religious practice.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    At least the US has a First Amendment – for now. What a contrast with the UK, where Scotland tightening censorship that equates a modern blasphemy law, and when the Church of England, a church with state established privileges, meekly accepts shutdowns to services with barely a murmur of dissent?

    In fact, the conduct of CoE archbishop Justin Welby is particularly lame. I cannot recall a single message he has given about how faith and Christianity can and should play a role during our current unhappiness. Our church here is pathetic. I am a lapsed Christian, but retain some of that old mental furniture. At least in the US the great denominations haven’t yet given up the fight.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “In fact, the conduct of CoE archbishop Justin Welby is particularly lame. I cannot recall a single message he has given about how faith and Christianity can and should play a role during our current unhappiness.”

    Is he? Then allow me:

    And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.

    For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

    Exodus 12:22-23.

    If that’s not good enough, then I’d point you to Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.” If you spread a disease to somebody else who dies as a result, knowing that is likely to be the outcome of your actions, it’s not exactly neighbourly. Christians should comply voluntarily, they shouldn’t have to be forced by the government to refrain from evil.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes John Lewis – I am, sadly, aware of how sickening the entertainment media people have become – their celebration of Governor Cuomo is par-for-the course.

    Yes Snorri – good for you Sir!

    Jacobson in 1905 was wrongly decided – and it led straight to the infamous Supreme Court case of the 1920s that allowed State thugs to use violence to sterilise people against their will.

    The New York State Sullivan Act of 1911 does indeed violate the 2nd Amendment – calling it “settled law” because it has been around for more than a century does not alter this (by the way it shocked British opinion at the time – that a free population was an armed one was accepted in the Britain of 1911, the Britain of millions of people in the National Rifle Association, and a network of Constitution Clubs).

    I note Nullius is being his usual despicable self. The Hebrew is (as every schoolboy used to know) correctly translated as “Thou shalt not murder” (or “Thou shalt do no murder”).

    As for the Nullius claim that the lockdowns saved lives – he is lying (as he so often does). The British death rate (rate) is actually higher than all the countries that did not lock down – not some of them, all of them.

    Nullius believes that violence should be used against other people – but he would object strongly (go crying to the police) if violence was used against him. This is because he is a hypocrite as well as a liar.

    By the way – we are still waiting for the apology of Nullius, as he SMEARED effective early treatment for Covid 19.

    Someone who took the advice of Nullius and did not seek effective early treatment, might well have died. Therefore, by his own mistranslation of scripture, he is guilty of the very thing he accuses others of – unintentionally (at least I hope it is unintentional) killing other people, by smearing treatment that could have saved their lives.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul,

    The Hebrew is (as every schoolboy used to know) correctly translated as “Thou shalt not murder” (or “Thou shalt do no murder”).

    Indeed, I pointed out a couple of years ago in a post here that in Suffolk, the Sixth Commandment is translated in many churches as ‘Thou shalt do no murder‘.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I note Nullius is being his usual despicable self. The Hebrew is (as every schoolboy used to know) correctly translated as “Thou shalt not murder””

    It was a direct cut-and-paste from the KJV, which was translated specifically for the Church of England – which seemed appropriate for what a CofE Archbishop might say. If you want to call the Christians of the Church of England “despicable”, go ahead. Not very Christian though, is it?

    But if you like, translating it as “murder” works, too. It’s deliberate and premeditated, isn’t it?

    “As for the Nullius claim that the lockdowns saved lives – he is lying (as he so often does). The British death rate (rate) is actually higher than all the countries that did not lock down – not some of them, all of them.”

    Non sequitur. The British death rate is higher because we locked down *late*. When R is greater than 1, the infection numbers expand exponentially. If you get R below 1 early, you can stop it with few deaths. If you leave it until the plague has spread to millions before acting, more die. Only someone who had no clue how epidemics work could think that comparing numbers in countries with and without lockdown proved that the lockdown didn’t save lives.

    It’s like arguing that slamming on the brakes doesn’t save lives, because there are more dead in traffic accidents where the brakes were slammed on than without. We only needed to slam the brakes on so hard because we left it too late to stop any other way. Thinking that proves we don’t need brakes in cars is beyond dumb. It can only be conscious self-deception.

    “Nullius believes that violence should be used against other people – but he would object strongly (go crying to the police) if violence was used against him.”

    I believe that force can legitimately be used to stop someone murdering other people. Are you saying that you wouldn’t?

    And I’m quite happy for that rule to be applied to me, because I’m not callous enough to kill other people for my own convenience. That’s not hypocrisy. But I was arguing that Christians don’t need to be forced not to murder people, not that they should be forced.

    “By the way – we are still waiting for the apology of Nullius, as he SMEARED effective early treatment for Covid 19.”

    Which doesn’t work.

    “Someone who took the advice of Nullius and did not seek effective early treatment, might well have died.”

    Or might well have died because of the treatment when they otherwise would not have. The world is full of snake oil cures that don’t work. The world is full of people utterly convinced that they do, and for who evidence doesn’t matter. I’ve met people who turned down cancer treatment because they believed in aromatherapy and homeopathy and other New Age crap. But you can tell them a million times there’s no evidence for it – they’re not listening. If the evidence contradicts their beliefs, so much the worse for evidence. And so much the worse for anyone who insists on it.

    Every genuine Christian I’ve met has always argued for forgiving enemies, making peace. They don’t boil with spiteful hate and anger. Hatred only poisons the hater’s own soul. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.” Hatred and anger are the path to the Dark side. You might benefit from paying a bit more attention to the Christian doctrine…

  • APL

    NiV: “I believe that force can legitimately be used to stop someone murdering other people.”

    As you have previously admitted, you take no account of intent. Allowing you to [deliberately, I presume] bastardize the meaning of the word ‘murder’, which honest people accept, requires intent and motive, with manslaughter which simply requires stupidity or negligence. Then so doing, you advocate for the destruction of freedom and liberty, under the guise of ‘saving lives’.

    Although, on balance you may use force to stop one individual from murdering another, or even accidently killing another. But your use of force should be proportionate to the risk of murder being committed. You may not indiscriminately fire your automatic weapon into a crowd of innocent people because you are convinced one in the crowd is a murderer.

    Possibly, someone has been watching too many Holywood movies.

    NiV: “Every genuine Christian I’ve met has always argued for forgiving enemies, making peace.”

    NiV channeling Justin Whellby, I suppose. Then you can hardly be blamed for having the loosest grasp of Christian theology. ‘A good Christian’* does not just indiscriminately forgive, that would be insane. He/She requires, or should require, repentance beforehand.

    *Frankly, I don’t think you’d recognize a ‘genuine Christian’ if one bit you. I’d go one step further, and suggest you may be uniquely unqualified to judge what qualities a genuine Christian might have.

  • Paul Marks

    Nullius chooses to repeat his lies.

    And the word “lies” is fully justified.

    Notice I did NOT use the word “lies” in March – we did not know then whether the a “lockdown” policy would prevent mass death, and we also did not know then whether what Dr Zelenko and other doctors were saying was true.

    It is now late November – the “a couple of week to flatten the curve” (sometimes called two weeks – sometimes three weeks) has turned out to be MORE THAN EIGHT MONTHS of restrictions in many counties designed to destroy small business and hand the economy (of many Western countries) to an alliance of Big Government and Big Business (Google, Amazon and so on – but with the Credit Bubble BANKS as well) – essentially the Fascist (Corporate State) agenda of Klaus Schwab (who is NOT a medical doctor and has pushing this agenda since at least 1971 – so it predates both “Covid 19” and the big pushing of the C02-will-destroy-the-world theory, PREDATES these things.

    In short the Fascism was NOT designed as a cure for either C02 emissions or Covid 19 (Sars Covid 2) because the Fascist (World Economic Forum, United Nations, on-and-on) plans came BEFORE these things were being talked about.

    Someone who claims that Agenda 2030 (what used to be called Agenda 21, and “Sustainable Development” and “Stakeholder Capitalism” – Dr Schwab’s book coming out in 1971) is really about Covid 19 or Global Warming – is turning history on its head.

    Still we now know that lockdowns and other restrictions do not work – Lockdown Central (formally known as the United Kingdom) does not have one of the lowest Covid death rates in the world, it has one of the HIGHEST Covid death rates in the world – higher (not lower – higher) than ALL the countries that did not Lock Down.

    There is also the point of the at least TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND deaths (reported in a leaked government report published by the Daily Telegraph), the people who will die BECAUSE (yes BECAUSE) of the Lockdowns and restrictions.

    By-his-own-arguments Nullius is responsible for those at least (at least) two hundred thousand deaths that are and will occur in the United Kingdom.

    So Nullius – by your own mistranslation of scripture (or the mistranslation you got from some other person or group) you would have to be executed for those 200 hundred thousand deaths. Do you wish me to execute you? Yes or no? I repeat this is YOUR position, NOT mine – I have no wish to execute you (none at all), but you appear to be insisting on it.

    By the way – the mistranslation makes scripture contradictory, as the penalty for murder is death. Yet if the word is correctly translated as “killing” how can one execute the murderer without breaking commandment one’s self?

    Turning to Dr Zelenko and many other doctors now.

    Notice I did NOT say that Nullius was lying in March – we did not know then whether the early treatment suggested (the early combination of hydroxychloroquine, zinc sulphate and, for non Covid problems that many develop, either azithromycin or doxycycline) would be of use.

    We now know (due to many studies – not just one) that is of use.

    So Nullius comes to us, with tears in his eyes, begging forgiveness for smearing this treatment over the last many months?

    No he does NOT – on the contrary, he CARRIES ON THE SMEARING.

    What might have been an honest mistake in March most certainly can NOT still be honest mistake now.

    By his continued support of lockdowns and other restrictions (now – not in March, when he may have been making an honest mistake) and his continued smearing of effective early treatment, Nullius is working to ruin lives and to END LIVES.

    The logical examination of what Nullius is doing leads to the conclusion that he is INTENTIONALLY seeking to increase the number of deaths – both via economic and societal breakdown (the lockdowns – with all the deaths by suicide, opiate abuse, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on) and by smearing early treatment for the disease (not just in March and later – NOW).

    The “end game” of the international establishment elite is to destroy small business enterprises and hand the economy (and society) to a Corporate State (Fascism) alliance of Big Government and Big Business – with free competition, and the general freedom of ordinary people, utterly crushed, on the World Economic Forum (and the other national and international organisations) model.

    What of ordinary people? Well those who remain alive are to be put on a “basic income” – people who were once productive and self sustaining, reduced to begging for scraps. A Welfare Under Class.

    It would not surprise me (not in the least) to find that Nullius supports this “basic income” idea. To destroy what is left of independent Civil Society, to a mob without real families, independent cultural institutions, or any cultural traditions worthy of the name.

    Yet again – these Corporate State (Fascism) “Stakeholder Capitalism” plans long PREDATE Covid 19 or the Global Warming theory, so (logically) they can not be a “response” to either Covid 19 or Global Warming, as the plans were thought up long before much talk of Covid 19 or Global Warming – these things being EXCUSES for what the international establishment elite have long worked for anyway.

  • Paul Marks

    A recent incident makes things very clear.

    Mr Joseph “Joe” Biden called Poland and Hungary “totalitarian states”.

    There was much merriment at this – “senile Joe thinking he is back in the 1980s”.

    But it was NOT senility – Mr Biden was saying what he had been told to say (he was not in some senile dream that he was living in the 1980s).

    “But Paul, Poland and Hungary are democratic countries in which national traditions are prized and such vital cultural institutions as the family are defended against Frankfurt School of Marxism “Woke” attack”.

    Yes – and that is precisely why the international establishment elite HATE Poland and Hungary.

    There was no “mistake” in what Mr Biden was saying – the people who wrote his lines knew exactly what they were doing.

    By calling Poland and Hungary “totalitarian states” what they meant was “these countries are in our way – they stand between us and our plans for WORLD TOTALITARIANISM with the destruction of nation-states, culture, the family, and everything that stands in the way of evil”.

    There are many problems and bad things in Poland and Hungary – but what the international establishment elite wish to destroy is what is GOOD about Poland and Hungary, and what is good about all other places – that is what they wish to destroy.

    There was no “mistake” about the “transitioning” of EIGHT YEAR OLD CHILDREN either.

    That was a question that was planted by the Biden campaign itself (at his “Town Hall”) and Mr Biden gave exactly the answer he had been TOLD to give.

    The evil of these people is totally open – they do not hide it.

    They are very confident that, after so many years of indoctrination by the education system and the media, there will be no large scale resistance.

    And I fear they may be correct in thinking there will be no large scale resistance to their plans – yet again plans that they have been working on for many years BEFORE Covid 19 or Global Warming theory.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “As you have previously admitted, you take no account of intent. Allowing you to [deliberately, I presume] bastardize the meaning of the word ‘murder’, which honest people accept, requires intent and motive, with manslaughter which simply requires stupidity or negligence.”

    But this isn’t stupidity or negligence. You’re well aware of the consequences – I’ve told you enough times. So if you do it *knowing* it’s going to kill people, that’s premeditated.

    “Although, on balance you may use force to stop one individual from murdering another, or even accidently killing another. But your use of force should be proportionate to the risk of murder being committed. You may not indiscriminately fire your automatic weapon into a crowd of innocent people because you are convinced one in the crowd is a murderer.”

    Thank you! You acknowledge my point! I agree you can’t fire your automatic weapon into a crowd of innocent people because you are convinced one in the crowd is a murderer. I’m asking you, can you fire your automatic weapon into a crowd of innocent people because you want to hold a party?

    If you go to a party and infect 10 people, and they each go to more parties and infect 10 more each, and they all go to half a dozen bars and infect another 10 in each bar, you can quickly end up with a couple of thousand potential victims. If one in a hundred of them die, there are going to be victims. A virus is a bioweapon. It works automatically, once released. Can you fire your automatic bioweapon into a crowd of innocent people, because you was bored and wanted to go meet people? Knowing it’s going to kill people?

    “NiV channeling Justin Whellby, I suppose. Then you can hardly be blamed for having the loosest grasp of Christian theology. ‘A good Christian’* does not just indiscriminately forgive, that would be insane. He/She requires, or should require, repentance beforehand.”

    27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

    28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

    29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

    30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

    31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

    32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

    33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

    34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

    35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

    36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

    37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

    38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

    39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

    40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

    43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

    45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

    “Frankly, I don’t think you’d recognize a ‘genuine Christian’ if one bit you. I’d go one step further, and suggest you may be uniquely unqualified to judge what qualities a genuine Christian might have.”

    That’s easy. A Christian follows the teachings of Christ.

    And they don’t bite.

    “There is also the point of the at least TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND deaths (reported in a leaked government report published by the Daily Telegraph), the people who will die BECAUSE (yes BECAUSE) of the Lockdowns and restrictions.”

    That’s not what the report says.

    They said that urgent referrals for cancer were down, because people were unwilling to go to hospitals, or hospitals were overloaded. That’s not because of the lockdown or the restrictions – hospitals have never been shut to urgent cases, the rules do not prevent anyone seeking medical help. That’s because of the epidemic.

    The deaths you are talking about occurred because some hospitals got overloaded, and because the infection rate was so high people chose for themselves not to take the risk. Those are things the lockdown and the restrictions fought and reduced. And had we not stopped the first wave expanding exponentially and overloading the hospitals, they would have been kept aways from hospitals for even longer, and even more would have died.

    You’ve got that on completely the wrong side of the balance sheet.

    “Notice I did NOT say that Nullius was lying in March – we did not know then whether the early treatment suggested (the early combination of hydroxychloroquine, zinc sulphate and, for non Covid problems that many develop, either azithromycin or doxycycline) would be of use.

    We now know (due to many studies – not just one) that is of use.”

    No we don’t. Nobody has provided any evidence that stands up to scrutiny. I’ve challenged you repeatedly to provide the evidence for your claim in the form of randomised trials, and you’ve ignored or dismissed it every time. If you had any evidence, you’d have presented it by now.

    If you do a study where one group get your combination and get better more than another group that don’t, that’s interesting. But when on closer examination it turns out the ones that got the drugs were also 10 years younger on average, we can’t tell if the difference in outcome was because of the drugs or because of the age difference.

    The doctors only gave the treatment to people they thought had a better chance of surviving anyway. Doing that invalidates the studies.

    HCQ was initially thought to be a good candidate because it prevented infection of cultured kidney cells in the laboratory. It was subsequently discovered that the virus gets into lung cells by a different mechanism that HCQ doesn’t block. It doesn’t work. It never did.

  • Fraser Orr

    The similarity of Bible hermeneutics and legal analysis has always struck me as interesting. Bible people can spend years and years debating the meaning of a word (such as the Hebrew word ratasch used in the ten commandments, variously translated kill or murder. FWIW, there is little doubt that it means “murder”, if you simply take a few minutes to look at the context of the other places it is used.) So too, legal people can spend years and years debating the meaning of a word like “arms” or “establishment of religion”. And often the advocates of one side or another are deeply passionate about their side, and often consider those who don’t accept their view to be evil.

    It is curious the degree to which their preconceived ideas dominate their interpretation of the meaning far more than the meaning itself does. It is also interesting how that interpretation changes over time. For example, for most of the Church’s history slavery and female subjugation were considered perfectly moral (based on the interpretation of certain passages), and in the legal realm the same subjects were too.

    I guess whenever it matters what the literal text of something means really matters, then rather than discussing what matters, one manipulates the text to mean what you want it to mean. The basis being that the “text” is agreed to be right, so when it doesn’t match our desires we reinterpret it, often with remarkable hermeneutical gymnastics people. (E.g., Roe Vs. Wade or discussions over the Biblical response to homosexuality or premarital chastity.)

    I guess it is what we call “spin”.

  • Snorri Godhi

    There is much sense in what Fraser Orr says, but i beg to disagree on a few issues.

    First, what the writer of a text meant, is something that only the writer knew with certainty. There is an objective truth (original meaning), but we’ll never know what it is.

    Second, when the text was written by a committee, it is possible, indeed likely, that not all members had in mind the same meaning.

    The above is not to be taken to mean that any interpretation is equally sound.

    Third:

    for most of the Church’s history slavery and female subjugation were considered perfectly moral (based on the interpretation of certain passages), and in the legal realm the same subjects were too.

    Still, it is the case that slavery disappeared in Europe after Christianization. Slowly, but it disappeared.

    As for women, at least their status did not get any worse than in the Roman Empire. In fact, it probably got better. They could not be forced to expose babies, for instance. At least, not lawfully.

    And please note that i am writing this as a fervent, militant agnostic, with pagan sympathies.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul Marks:

    By calling Poland and Hungary “totalitarian states” what [Biden’s handlers] meant was “these countries are in our way – they stand between us and our plans for WORLD TOTALITARIANISM with the destruction of nation-states, culture, the family, and everything that stands in the way of evil”.

    The good news is that in France, too, it is now acceptable for intellectuals to despise American multiculturalism.

    Rightly or wrongly, I flatter myself that i saw this coming when most of continental Europe published the Mohammed cartoons in 2006, and most of the Anglosphere didn’t.

  • bobby b

    “First, what the writer of a text meant, is something that only the writer knew with certainty. There is an objective truth (original meaning), but we’ll never know what it is.

    Second, when the text was written by a committee, it is possible, indeed likely, that not all members had in mind the same meaning”

    And, with that, you’ve captured the essence of Scalia.

  • Snorri Godhi

    And, with that, you’ve captured the essence of Scalia.

    I take that as a compliment.

  • bobby b

    “I take that as a compliment.”

    As you should.

    He would add another point to your two, of course, along the lines of “acknowledging these difficulties, it remains our duty to discern – to the extent we can – that original meaning. Anything short of that would be mere legislating.”

  • Snorri Godhi

    Thank you, bobby.
    I did write:

    The above is not to be taken to mean that any interpretation is equally sound.

  • JohnB

    Well said, Paul.
    It is refreshing to see commonsense prevail over cleverness.

    NiV, A Christian is one in-dwelt by the Spirit of Christ. One who has asked Jesus to forgive them (we have all sinned), and to take over their life.

    Yes, we should forgive our enemies. Not to seek personal redress, but ask the Lord Jesus in His love and mercy to us all, to sort it out.

    Not so easy, indeed!

  • Roberts wants to disempower the Court, but his timing leaves a Court-altered society (bobby b, November 27, 2020 at 1:18 pm)

    I agree with your comment (modulo the reasonable question how far Roberts’ error is sincere or biased). However I also noticed the majority’s refusal to accept the dodge of mootness – in this case, specifically reversible executive mootness (as Neil notes, were governor Cuomo’s reversal to succeed in mooting the case, he could reverse himself again the day after).

    I approve the court’s dodging the dodge on principal and hope they keep it up. I speculate that legislative mooting may be less objected to to the majority – and maybe should be less objectionable to them.

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