WASHINGTON – Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Thursday sounded the alarm about the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus epidemic, saying he should not become a “recurring feature after the epidemic has passed”.
“The federal is holding its own annual conference due to the epidemic,” said the Federalist in an address to the conservative Federalist Society, which already has unimaginable restrictions on personal freedom.
Alito noted that he was not downplaying the seriousness of the “threat of viruses to public health” or “whether any of these restrictions represent good public policy.” He warned against his words “twisted or misunderstood.”
But he said it is an “indisputable statement of fact” that “we have never seen sanctions as severe, comprehensive and prolonged as most people have experienced in the 2020s.”
“Anyone who can think of COVID sanctions, we certainly don’t want them to be a recurring feature after the epidemic has passed,” said Alito, who was nominated to court by President George W. Bush.
Alito was particularly important in two cases earlier this year where the court sided with states that the size of religious ceremonies was banned, citing the coronovirus epidemic. In both cases, the court split 5-4 in allowing Chief Justice John Roberts to continue with the court’s siding with liberals.
In May, the High Court dismissed an emergency appeal by a California church challenging attendance limits at worship services.
In July a Nevada church rejected such a challenge. Alito said that in both cases the ban was “discriminatory with houses of worship” and warned that “religious freedom is in danger of becoming the right of another class.”
Both cases came to court before Justice Ruth Beder Ginsburg’s death in September. The substitution of liberal justice by conservative Justice Amy Connie Barrett may change how the court may appear on similar cases in the future. The court is currently a case related to the Catholic Church and is limited to in-person services in New York.