John Roberts’ Latest Deciding Vote Spurs Wrath of Conservatives
The latest Supreme Court vote cast by Chief Justice John Roberts, rejecting an effort by a Nevada church to ease limits on attendance at its services during the coronavirus pandemic, was condemned by conservative lawmakers.
Roberts was the decider late Friday, joining the court’s liberals in a 5-4 vote against Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a Reno-area church that said the state was discriminating by imposing stricter requirements on church services than on the state’s casinos.
“John Roberts has abandoned his oath,” Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, said in a tweet. “Maybe Nevada churches should set up craps tables? Then they could open?”
Cruz’s comment helped get “John Roberts” trending on Twitter.
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, also piled on, wondering “what happened to that judge?” and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, a former Republican Congressman, called it “a sad day.”
President Donald Trump hasn’t commented directly on the ruling but retweeted a message about it from a journalist at a conservative news outlet.
Churches and other places of worship in Nevada currently have a 50-person limit on attendance at services. Other businesses, like restaurants and casinos, can operate at half of their fire-code capacity limits, which can be much higher than 50, with appropriate social distancing.
Other large gatherings, like movie theaters and concerts, are subject to similar or tighter restrictions than churches, Nevada officials have said. The rules are an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Roberts didn’t explain Friday’s vote, the court’s latest refusal to exempt religious services from COVID-related crowd-size limitations imposed by state officials. Justices in May refused to block restrictions in separate cases involving California and Illinois.
Limits “should not be subject to second-guessing by an unelected federal judiciary, which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people,” Roberts wrote in the California case.
©2020 Bloomberg News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, nearly guaranteeing she will be confirmed by a vote of the full Republican-controlled Senate. “How could anybody in their right mind after listening to Judge Barrett... Read More
WASHINGTON - The GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the full Senate, despite a Democratic boycott on the hearing. The 12-0 vote by the committee virtually assures Barrett will be confirmed to the... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate's escalating partisan tug-of-war over judicial confirmations has frayed relationships in the chamber for decades, but Thursday's committee vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett threatens to sever the rope. The vote is expected to unfold as it did for previous judicial nominees in the President Donald Trump era. Democrats alone don't have... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate will put in a long work session this weekend in a bid to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by next Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. McConnell has repeatedly said Barrett has clearly demonstrated she's the... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The Senate appears likely to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as soon as next Monday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., had previously said that he anticipated beginning the process of considering the nomination of Barrett, currently a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, during a rare... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up two cases arising from President Donald Trump's efforts to slow both legal and illegal immigration from Mexico. Monday's announcement followed an order late Friday in which the high court said it will fast-track the appeal in... Read More