Cuomo and Church Closures

Quoting Michael McConnel and Max Raskin:

“Perhaps Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Breyer believed that Governor Cuomo and government officials around the country will read the court’s opinions and recognize that it is time to bury the meat cleaver and begin to regulate constitutional freedoms with a scalpel — without the need for a judicial order….That message is lost if the case is seen as the mere product of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s arrival at the Supreme Court. With the presidential election behind us, the balance between Covid-19 precautions and civil liberties no longer needs to be a partisan issue. The right to exercise religion in accordance with conscience is one of the most important in the Bill of Rights, and it is time for mayors and governors — and courts — to treat it that way.”

“The Supreme Court Was Right to Block Cuomo’s Religious Restrictions” from The New Yor Times

The question as to whether churches and synagogues ought to be treated the same as other places of public accommodation is not partisan. Just because the decision benefits religious observance and was reached by some appointees doesn’t, by definition, make it bad. Just as Republicans need to be able to distinguish between support for conservatism and support for Trump, so too Democrats need to distinguish between distaste for Trump and disagreement with issues that somehow relate to Trump. The knee-jerk opposition to this decision from Democrats is rather stupid. To survive as a constitutional regime, we need to be able to make distinctions between a case like this and more meaningful questions of serious partisan disagreement.

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