The High Court’s Messy Case


Supreme Court in Washington, January 7, 2022.


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While not as horrendous as some have said, the Supreme Court’s activity in oral arguments over delegating the Biden vaccine to private foundations is hardly a good hour. of the Court. Halfway around the world, Australia’s major national newspaper made headlines with the headline “Top US judges have covered pandemic”.

Some knockdowns are unfair. Justice Gorsuch doesn’t say hundreds of thousands of people die from the flu every year, but hundreds, thousands. Justice Breyer is just wrong to say that 750 million Americans are testing positive every day. Justice Sotomayor did not entirely refer to unvaccinated Americans as “virus sprayers”.

But discussion bad enough, confused by 24 months of incoherent government announcements about Covid. Justice Breyer declared it “incredible that this sudden discontinuation of vaccinations could be in the public interest,” as if he imagined Biden’s order already in effect and playing a key role in vaccination. strains of the United States. Incorrect. The majority of the US population has been immunized; The mission will only target 25% of the population, the private workforce, most of whom have voluntarily received vaccinations or at the behest of their employers. At least half are also likely to have been infected and acquired natural immunity. And with a mean age of 42, this small population is virtually free of pink eye for the persistently unvaccinated older cohort most likely to require hospitalization.

In other words, Biden’s workplace mandate, even if approved, would have a negligible, almost invisible, impact on vaccination rates or the outbreak of a pandemic.

On the second point, Justice Kagan’s well-advertised blunder, her claim that vaccination is “the best way to prevent spread,” suggests that she hasn’t heard of Delta or Omicron, both. All can transmit disease. This alone makes for an incoherent argument for requiring workers in private workplaces to be vaccinated so that private workplaces can be safe for unvaccinated workers.

The worst timing was when Justice Sotomayor announced that Omicron was filling hospitals with children, “many of whom are on ventilators.” The Washington Post awarded her four Pinocchios, adding, “It is vital that Supreme Court justices make decisions based on accurate data.”

The last bit is probably unfair. Ms Sotomayor offered no legal argument, but offered “think of the children” advice to comfort liberals even as the government’s workplace duties seemed to stand no chance. occurs when the Court makes the final judgment.

Once we’ve solved all the other Covid mysteries, we come to the real mystery: Why is it taking so long? pretend Can Covid be defeated and eradicated? Poor libertarians on the court, last week they fell into a bad political moment. The administration they feel so solicited is engaging in a deliberately painful waltz, with more experimental bubbles than you can count, as the president tries to Finesse his way of admitting a truth that every American already knows in their bones.

As the headline of this newspaper reported last Thursday, “Biden, in change, prepares Americans to see Covid-19 as part of life,” although on Tuesday, testing water still did not lead to the aforementioned change. Instead, Team Biden ran to Georgia to assert, at any cost for future peace and domestic tranquility, that America’s polling place was besieged by supremacists. White skin. The only salvation is a convenient wish list of Democratic voting “reforms” unlikely to pass the Senate except by funding the rules in a way that would have the opposite effect. establishing more public confidence in our elections.

In Mr. Biden, we’re not seeing one of Lincolnesque’s presidents anymore, we’re seeing someone whose approach to Covid and most other things closely resembles his law school approach: nearly getting kicked out for plagiarism, finishing near the bottom of his class, then pretending he finished at the top.

Understood: The change taking place is not a mere policy change, with real-world consequences for the public, but a shift in the government’s important, self-interested political message . And it will be painful for Mr. Biden. The government will have to give up its fervent hope and only battle plan. “Biden beats Covid” is not a headline one would see to justify his presidency in time for the 2022 or 2024 elections.

During the first weeks, I wrong suggestion The new president has faced a “heavy step” in preparing Americans for Covid that remains a health threat for decades to come. The heaviness he faced was different. It includes shifting the federal health care facility, including Dr. Fauci, to a new, more candid tone without triggering a flurry of headlines saying Mr Biden, who has promised to beat virus, was defeated by it instead.

The Journal of Editorial Reports: But do these federal agencies have this power in the absence of a specific authorization from Congress? Image: AFP / Getty Images Synthesis: Mark Kelly

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Appears in print edition January 12, 2022 as ‘The Supreme Court’s Living Confusion.’ The High Court’s Messy Case

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