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Tipsheet

Justice Gorsuch Denounces Government's Use of Fear and Power to Intimidate Americans

Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch issued a statement condemning the use of emergency power during the Covid-19 pandemic, arguing it was an intrusion on civil liberties. 

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This week, the high court dismissed a case seeking a pending appeal to the ending of Title 42, which was used to expel illegal migrants quickly at the southern border without allowing them to seek asylum.

Gorsuch criticized the government's overuse of their power to shut down daily life, making Americans barely able to afford to feed their family or put gas in their cars. He also denounced lockdown orders, a federal eviction ban, and vaccine mandates.

"One lesson might be this: Fear and the desire for safety are powerful forces. They can lead to a clamor for action—almost any action—as long as someone does something to address a perceived threat," his statement reads. "Since March 2020, we may have experienced the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country. Executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale." 

The Supreme Court Justice gave examples of how the federal government intruded on Americans' rights citing the forced closures of businesses, schools, and churches but allowing casinos and other favored companies to remain open. Threats were made to violators with civil penalties and criminal sanctions. In addition, Gorsuch mentioned how the government invaded law-abiding U.S. citizens by surveilling church parking lots, recording license plates, and warning people who attended outside events that corresponded with social-distancing rules. 

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"It is hard not to wonder, too, whether state legislatures might profitably reexamine the proper scope of emergency executive powers at the state level," Gorsuch continued. "At the very least, one can hope that the Judiciary will not soon again allow itself to be part of the problem by permitting litigants to manipulate our docket to perpetuate a decree designed for one emergency to address another."

Since the expiration of Title 42, the southern border has seen a mass influx of illegal aliens storm the U.S. Officials say they have seen between 3,000 and 4,000 encounters a day.

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