Last Friday, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, declined to hear an application for injunctive relief, in the case of Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Steve Sisolak, Governor of Nevada, Et Al. The facts of the case are straight forward. Governor Sisolak issued an edict in the midst of the Covid 19 outbreak to limit the attendance of worshippers in any Church, Mosque or Synagogue to 50 people, despite the size of such buildings and the numbers in the congregation, at the same time Casinos, Gymnasiums , Restaurants and Bars were allowed to operate at 50% capacity. In the case of the Casinos because of their large size, thousands of patrons may gamble at a time, whilst places of worship are extremely limited. In a scathing dissent by Justice Alito, joined by Justice Thomas, he wrote, "That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court's willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing. We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility." Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh wrote separate dissents. Gorsuch wrote, "... there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel." What happened? Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberals again. Politics and an election year may have weighed heavily in Roberts decision, but in a straightforward case such as this, it should not have mattered.
In the Federalist papers Hamilton said that the Judiciary branch would be the weakest of the three branches because it had " no influence over either the sword or the purse, ... It may be said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgement." Is this the case of our modern day Supreme Court? I think not! Given the decisions on abortion, redefinition of marriage and religious liberty, the judicial branch has become the most powerful and pernicious branch of government, changing our society one ruling at a time. Judgements do not entail activism from the bench. What happened to calling balls and strikes?