Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments on two related COVID-19 mandate cases — one affecting companies having 100 or more employees, and the second directed at healthcare workers — prove that former President Donald Trump’s appointments of three justices to the high court was his greatest gift to a free America.
Comments made by former President Barack Obama’s two appointees — Justices Sonia Sotomayor and to a lesser extent Elena Kagan — especially confirm this.
Sotomayor started right out of the gate making outright misstatements of fact, prompting Twitchy editor Doug Powers to suggest she "has obviously been watching way too much CNN."
Sotomayor claimed: "We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition, and many on ventilators" due to coronavirus.
Politifact observed afterwards that "Sotomayor’s number was way off."
It rated the statement as "false" and added "At the time she made this comment, federal data showed that fewer than 5,000 coronavirus-positive children were in the hospital."
It also earned her four Pinocchios from The Washington Post, and even CNN’s Jake Tapper called her out on it.
"That's just not true," he said. "There are fewer than 5,000 minors hospitalized with COVID right now . . . and that includes minors who were admitted because of COVID and ones who tested positive but were hospitalized for other reasons."
Sotomayor also claimed that the omicron COVID-19 variant is as deadly as the delta variant, which isn’t supported by the data.
But her most egregious statement — especially coming from a Supreme Court justice — was her claim that she didn’t understand the distinction between federal and state powers.
"I’m not sure I understand the distinction why the states would have the power [to institute a mandate such as OSHA’s], but the federal government wouldn’t," she said.
The federal government’s powers are limited to those delegated to it by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. This includes the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to maintain armed forces, to raise taxes and to establish a post office.
These are often called the federal government’s enumerated powers.
All other powers rest with the states and the people, according to the 10th Amendment. These are often referred to as a state’s police powers — the power to regulate behavior and enforce order within their boundaries for the betterment of the health, safety, and general welfare of their citizens.
Amendment X provides, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
The idea that a Supreme Court justice doesn’t recognize the distinction between the federal government’s delegated, limited powers and the reserved, police powers of the states is jaw-dropping, and suggests she philosophically believes that the feds should hold all the marbles.
Additionally, Kagan claimed that “the best way” to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is “for people to get vaccinated,” an assertion that was quickly challenged by many.
In response to these statements, Democrats and the left countered that Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first appointee to the high court, said something equally outrageous — that hundreds of thousands of people die of the flu annually.
What he’d actually said was, "Flu kills, I believe, hundreds, thousands of people every year,” as confirmed by Glenn Kessler, fact-checker for The Washington Post.
"To the 'whatabout Gorsuch?' folks," he tweeted. "Read the Sotomayor fact check and you will see that audio shows Gorsuch was misquoted in the transcript. So that's why he wasn't fact checked. He didn't say anything wrong. But Sotomayor did."
The federal court system — especially the Supreme Court — is the ultimate firewall to protect liberty in the United States. Trump’s appointments of Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett to the high court was his greatest gift — especially when one considers we came close to having Merrick Garland, who turned out to be little more than a political hack.
Americans are life’s ultimate lottery winners simply by being born in the United States, where success is limited only by imagination and a willingness to work.
But it won’t last if justices like Sotomayor run roughshod over the concept of federalism by advancing a stronger central government, or like Kagan who believe that the fruits of our labor are the property of the state.
Ronald Reagan had it right: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction," and Trump’s appointees may help save it for the one to come.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story contained a different quote misattributed to Elena Kagan in error and has been deleted.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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