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Supreme Court's Scientifically Illiterate Decision Will Cost Lives

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/29/supreme-courts-scientifically-illiterate-decision-will-cost-lives


My BA in chemical physics and environmental science, topped with a masters and doctoral degree in civil engineering say a pox on the SCOTUS. RBG is the gold standard and their ain’t no more gold anymore.


While RBG may have been the “gold standard” in the legal silo, her legacy was permanently diluted by her hubris, demonstrated when she ignored Obama’s advice for her to retire from SCOTUS when she was diagnosed with cancer at age 80 when the Democrats still controlled the Senate.


Well, we still have the First Amendment that was meant to be somewhat fluid, not crazy.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In scientific news…


A Singaporean woman who was pregnant when she was infected with coronavirus in March has reportedly given birth to a baby with antibodies against the disease.

The World Health Organization says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.

To date, the active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around babies in the womb or in breast milk.

Doctors in China have reported the detection and decline over time of COVID-19 antibodies in babies born to women with coronavirus, according to an article published in October in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.


My inner misanthrope is screaming, “Let 'em die, and the gods can sort them out!”
Seriously, the “sapiens” part of our species name is rapidly turning into something out of Idiocracy. Evolution will do the rest.
We evolved to function best in small groups and to be wary of other groups of hominids. Now we see it in action in real time. These particular groups wish to congregate, not caring about the “common good” because it involves other groups. The worst part of this way of thought is we’re dealing with a highly contagious virus with deadly consequences, which will take out innocent others whose only crime is getting needed supplies and a bit of fresh air.
What fools these mortals be!


“the Supreme Court should be on the side of saving lives and urging rational, science-based behavior by all”

I am reminded of the case of Troy Davis, of which Antonin Scalia remarked that the Supreme Court is not interested in the matter of factual innocence.


Religion supports dogma, and ignores science? At the cost of human lives? That’s never happened before in human history. These insane people are using many of the same completely failed techniques to desperately hold on to their misguided power as many of our ancestors. We simply have not learned to mistrust anything that common charlatans say. We should not trust one stinking word from these horrible examples of humans. Claiming moral superiority, while supporting killing humans around the world in a multitude of ways is simply what they have done for a millennia. Would you expect anything else from insane people guided solely by religious fervor?

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Non-“Prosperity Gospel” and other non-rightwing Christian religions should claim religious freedom and religious discrimination at every turn and take their cases to court to see how deep justices Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Alito’s neutrality goes. My guess is that it is super shallow and extremely biased, based on their own narrow-minded and un-American values.


Freedom of religion ends when lives are threatened by said freedom.

I have never been a fan of term limits, thinking experience far too important a factor to throw away the most experienced. But, since the Obese Orange One, and court packing, perhaps a term limit of SC Jurists is necessary.


Superb to see Pope Francis swiftly respond with an Op-Ed in the NYT, to this insane ruling by these insane Catholic-fascist cultists on the Supreme Court:

With some exceptions, governments have made great efforts to put the well-being of their people first, acting decisively to protect health and to save lives. The exceptions have been some governments that shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths, with inevitable, grievous consequences. But most governments acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak.

Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom! Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.

It is all too easy for some to take an idea — in this case, for example, personal freedom — and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything.


A religious service with 400 congregants, seated next to each other, singing and dancing, in a building with an occupancy limit of 400 is certainly a superspreader event, but that’s not what this case was about. Plaintiffs were not seeking permission to hold a superspreader event.

Plaintiffs asserted that Cuomo’s order restricted attendance at services to 10 or 25 people even when the buildings can hold 400 to 1000. Plaintiffs also asserted that the restrictions were not “of general applicability”; instead, the order targeted houses of worship. Acupuncture salons and liquor stores rarely have an occupancy limit of 400 to 1000, so a limit of 10 or 25 makes little difference to their business. The restrictions affected only the religious gatherings and effectively prevented such gatherings.

Plaintiffs also argued that they had complied with mask requirements and social distancing and had limited attendance to 25% of occupancy. That’s 25% of occupancy, not 25 people. Plaintiffs claimed that this compliance had reduced covid cases traceable to religious services to zero. The state did not deny these assertions.

Religious gatherings were limited to 10 or 25 people - even though the buildings in question had occupancy limits of 400 to 1000. SCOTUS ruled that these limits on these buildings were excessive and that the state could not enforce these limits. Other limits were not prohibited.

The SCOTUS decision blocks Cuomo from enforcing the 10/25 limits, but does not prohibit less restrictive and generally applicable limits necessary to defeat the virus.

I don’t necessarily agree with all parts of the decision, but this part seems reasonable. Ignoring important facts and writing hyperbole only leads to unnecessary hyperventilation.

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The religion hustle has to keep hustling, at any price. What if people took a break and found out it was totally dispensable? But, there’s really little need for worry. Delusion is ever attractive and will always find a way. And, the more absurdly far-fetched the delusion, the more effective! The most ridiculous costume usually wins.


But under this Court’s precedents, it does not suffice for a State to point out that, as compared to houses of worship, some secular businesses are subject to similarly severe or even more severe restrictions

Last I looked, religion was not a business. But the fact that as so many places such as gyms, for example, have large groups of people and indoors why should places of worship not be held equally responsible? This will only increase the people suffering and dying for the sake of fanatics.

Then there is supposed to be a separation of church and state.


There is a little more to it than how restrictions are decided in places that are already in affect a super spreader location or hot spot. This is redundant to make this between religious and secular venues as both are a risk.


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The problem seems to enter when we argue the letter of the law as opposed to the spirit of the law.

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Patrick Henry is reported as having said “give me liberty or give me death” or maybe he said something along the lines of “I’d rather be dead than paying taxes” (he was a lawyer after all). Either way, it’s all part of the founding culture.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see which if any countries will allow entry of people from a country that has allowed Covid-19 to become ENDEMIC.


Sadly, not retiring when she could have had a say in her replacement will be her most lasting decision.

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The Supreme Court is under greater duress from the Federalist society and vetting process more than RBG’s decision of when she would leave the court. IMO

This decision shows at best, result-driven pathetic rationalizations by the majority and demonstrates once again that the Supreme Court in its hubris has usurped for itself too broad a power of judicial review. They should show more respect for democratic governance and be more circumspect in throwing our regulations and particularly legislation.

To live in a (religious) juristocracy is to live in tyranny.