American rights Coronavirus restrictions free speech Intelwars justice samuel alito religious liberty Supreme Court US Constitution

Justice Alito criticizes ‘previously unimaginable’ coronavirus restrictions, says it’s up to the American people to stand up for their liberties

In a recent speech delivered to the Federalist Society at their annual convention in Washington, D.C., U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned that the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to “previously unimaginable” restrictions on American civil liberties.

Alito, 70, also spoke about the dangers posed to free speech by intolerant leftist law schools and defended the legacy of the Federalist Society, an organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers and judges who support textualist and originalist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution in law.

“Unfortunately, tolerance for opposing views is now in short supply in many law schools, and in the broader academic community,” Alito said. “When I speak with recent law school graduates, what I hear over and over is that they face harassment and retaliation if they say anything that departs from the law school orthodoxy.”

He expressed thanks for Federalist Society members and judges that stood up to an attempt to ban federal judges from being members in the society and for defending free speech. Then, turning to the topic of this year’s convention, he addressed the coronavirus pandemic and its affect on the rule of law.

“The pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty,” Alito said.

He clarified that he does not mean to diminish the severity of the virus’ threat to public health, and he did not weigh in on the legality of certain COVID-19 restrictions. But he said “it is an indisputable statement of fact, we have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced, for most of 2020.”

Think of all the live events that would otherwise be protected by the right to freedom of speech, live speeches, conferences, lectures, meetings. Think of worship services, churches closed on Easter Sunday, synagogues closed for Passover on Yom Kippur War. Think about access to the courts, or the constitutional right to a speedy trial. trials in federal courts have virtually disappeared in many places who could have imagined that?

The COVID crisis has served as a sort of constitutional stress test. And in doing so it has highlighted disturbing trends that were already present before the virus struck.

Alito tied this unprecedented expansion of government power to the ideals of early 20th century progressives, who sought to empower “an elite group of appointed experts” to implement policies that would be more “scientific.” Their “dream,” Alito remarked, “has been realized to a large extent” through the creation of the administrative state.

“Every year administrative agencies acting under broad delegations of authority churn out huge volumes of regulations that dwarfs the statutes enacted by the people’s elected representatives,” Alito noted. “And what have we seen in the pandemic? Sweeping restrictions imposed for the most part, under statutes that confer enormous executive discretion.”

Since the pandemic began, state governors have wielded broad authority to impose coronavirus restrictions by executive order, rather than by laws passed through the several state legislatures. In some cases, like in Michigan, courts have ruled that governors illegally exceeded their authority in imposing coronavirus restrictions without the consent of state lawmakers.

“Laws giving an official so much discretion can of course, be abused,” Alito warned. “And whatever one may think about the COVID restrictions, we surely don’t want them to become a recurring feature after the pandemic has passed.”

He went on to say that the Supreme Court and other courts “cannot close their eyes” when fundamental rights are restricted.

Continuing, Alito lamented that “religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored, right.” He discussed court cases involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns that was persecuted by the Obama administration for refusing to provide health insurance plans that provide contraceptives to their employees, and Masterpiece Cakeshop, whose owner Jack Phillips refused to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage. Both cases came before the Supreme Court.

“For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom. It’s often just an excuse for bigotry and it can’t be tolerated even when there’s no evidence that anybody has been harmed,” he said.

“The question we face is whether our society will be inclusive enough to tolerate people with unpopular religious beliefs,” Alito declared, arguing Christians deserve the same protections that religious minorities receive in this country under the First Amendment.

He also discussed coronavirus restrictions that “blatantly discriminated” against places of worship, noting that Nevada opened casinos while restricting worship in churches to 50 attendees.

“Now deciding whether to allow this disparate treatment should not have been a very tough call, take a quick look at the Constitution,” Alito said. “You will see the Free Exercise Clause of the first amendment which protects religious liberty, you will not find a craps clause or a blackjack clause or a slot machine clause.”

Yet the court deferred to the governor of Nevada’s judgment and let the restrictions on churches remain in place.

“Religious liberty is in danger of becoming a second-class right,” Alito warned, before turning to free speech more broadly and the Second Amendment.

“The rights of the free exercise of religion is not the only ones cherished freedom that is falling in the estimation of some segments of the population,” Alito said. “Support for freedom of speech is also in danger. And COVID rules have restricted speech in unprecedented ways.”

He criticized college campuses for discriminating against speakers with certain viewpoints, noting that “even before the pandemic, there was growing hostility to the expression of unfashionable views.”

“You can’t say that marriage is the union between one man and one woman,” Alito said as an example. “Until very recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it’s considered bigotry.”

That this would happen after our decision in Obergefell should not have come as a surprise. Yes, the opinion of the court included words meant to calm the fears of those who claim to traditional views on marriage. But I could say and so did the other justices in dissent, where the decision would lead. I wrote the following: “I assume that those who claim to old beliefs will be able able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes. But if they repeat those of us in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots, and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.” That is just what is coming to pass. One of the great challenges for the Supreme Court going forward will be to protect freedom of speech. Although that freedom is falling out of favor in some circles, we need to do whatever we can to prevent it from becoming a second tier constitutional right.

The Second Amendment is “the ultimate second tier constitutional right in the minds of some,” Alito continued.

In his conclusion, Alito said that while the Supreme Court has done “a lot of good work” to protect American liberties and defend the Constitution, ultimately it is up to the American people to defend their rights.

“… there is only so much that the judiciary can do to preserve our Constitution, and the Liberty it was adopted to protect. As Learned Hand famously wrote, Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women when it dies there. No constitution, no law, no court can do much to help it. for all Americans standing up for our Constitution and our freedom is work that lies ahead.”

Address by Justice Samuel Alito [2020 NLC Live]

American rights Civil Liberties Coronavirus tyranny Intelwars Violating our rights

Horowitz: The ultimate election fraud? Violating civil liberties

Our veterans didn’t fight for a country where mayors and governors can shout COVID, a noun, and a verb in the form of command and magically make our natural rights disappear.

What’s worse than wrongly ascending to office based on fraud? Using that office to fraudulently govern in a way that violates the most basic civil and religious liberties this country was founded upon. Just because you win a state or federal election doesn’t mean you have the right to treat the citizens like subjects. You might get to decide issues pertaining to zoning or garbage collection in a way that some of the people don’t like, but you can’t destroy their liberty and property and rule over their persons in the most literal sense. That’s what distinguishes our constitutional republic from a pure democracy. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “An elective despotism is not the government we fought for.”

While everyone is fighting over the election results, both Democrat and Republican governors and mayors are suspending civil liberties indefinitely using already failed methods meant to stop the spread of a respiratory virus. Baltimore’s mayor announced the closure of businesses and churches over a 10-person capacity limit plus an outdoor mask mandate even when people are far apart. Numerous cities are declaring curfews (as if the virus is nocturnal). Even in Republican-dominated Utah, the National Guard was dispatched to “contact trace” the public for a virus that has already spread for months and is impossible to trace.

Meanwhile, crime is skyrocketing in many of these cities, yet it’s the peaceful citizens who must fear the police if they fail to cover up their humanity, not the criminals. As such, the citizenry must fear both the authoritarian government and the anarchists and criminals at the same time. A mix of North Korea and Afghanistan?

What is so ironic about this form of fascism is that these draconian restrictions have already been in place for months to varying degrees and, by proponents’ own admission, have failed to stop the spread. Thus, now, a governor can suspend life, liberty, property, religious services, and the right to breathe free air even outdoors indefinitely without any checks and balances and without having to show evidence that those measures work.

Consider the absurdity of responding to a spread with an outdoor mask mandate. By definition, authorities are admitting that the indoor mandates in place since the spring with over 90% compliance in most states failed to stop the spread. However, it makes no sense, according to anyone’s opinion, that outdoor spread would be driving the epidemic more than the indoor spread. Thus, they are tethering an even more severe violation of the Constitution to a previous version of it that clearly didn’t work to achieve their stated goals.

Then again, this was never about stopping the virus. This was about tyranny. Just like releasing criminals from jails was never about stopping COVID in jails but about dismantling our criminal justice system. Just like voting by mail was never about protecting people from the virus but about institutionalizing voter fraud.

What has become clear is that regardless of who winds up sitting in the Oval Office on January 20, we will not have a country left if we continue to allow North Korea-style authoritarianism to prevail under the banner of the coronavirus.

Folks, what we are doing is clearly not working. We are suffering usurpations and abuses that are exponentially worse than anything King George did to the colonists, yet there is no rebellion in sight. For that matter, we don’t even see a political blowback in the majority of state legislatures where Republicans command a majority.

The left is increasingly ensuring that we have no peaceful means of defending our civil rights, religious liberty, and even bodily integrity under the reign of coronavirus fascism. Consider the following amalgamation of actions taken against us:

  • All information debating and questioning the legality and prudence behind these measures is censored.
  • They say we are not even allowed to protest these measures because it will spread the virus, while Black Lives Matter and Biden supporters can host large gatherings with the encouragement of government.
  • The same federal courts who will grant relief on bogus claims from criminals and illegal aliens within hours of their petitions laugh our bedrock civil liberty claims out of court.
  • Republicans, with very few exceptions, are just as tyrannical as Democrats, thereby ensuring that we can’t even escape to red states for relief from these authoritarian measures.
  • The police are now being used against us for living our lives rather than against the growing anarchist movement that endangers our public safety.
  • If we defend ourselves against the mobs that are ignored by the police, we are the ones who will be prosecuted.
  • Vote in elections to change the status quo? Good luck winning them with mail-in fraud and ballot-harvesting countering a groundswell of lawful individual voting.

The only thing we have left is the ability to speak out, but watching how Australia and other former liberal democracies are now prohibiting any speech criticizing lockdowns, our days are numbered.

Indeed, when you realize what is happening to us, the acts of King George preceding the Revolutionary War don’t appear to be too intolerable. And there is a reason for that. Our Founders sought to nip the tyranny in the bud before it became too powerful for them to redress. Patrick Henry, in his famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech, warned, “We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts.” To those who felt that the tyranny had not gotten bad enough and that it would be too arduous a task to rebel, he posed the following challenge:

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.

So, will we wait until they station cameras in our houses to make sure we are wearing masks at home in order to finally push back? Or will we organize new cadres of the Sons of Liberty and expose these tyrants at the local level while refusing to comply with evil, illogical, and unlawful arbitrary edicts? The clock is ticking. As it states in our Declaration of Independence, “All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

While memorializing our troops on Memorial Day 1927, President Calvin Coolidge noted that their sacrifice abroad is only worthwhile if we honor the Constitution at home. “The integrity of the Union rests on the Constitution,” said Coolidge in his poignant speech at Arlington National Cemetery. “Unless that great instrument is to be the supreme law of the land, we could have no Union worthy of our consideration.”

It’s time to make our union a constitutional republic again so that it’s worthy of the sacrifice of our veterans. It’s time to get educated and activated while we still can … or be enslaved.