Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has expressed his concerns about the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it "the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country." Gorsuch made his eight-page statement in response to a Republican-led effort to extend Title 42, a restrictive immigration policy that allowed for the rapid expulsion of asylum seekers and other migrants. The policy, which was initially implemented by the Trump administration and expanded under President Joe Biden, expired this month, and the Supreme Court rejected a push to keep it in place.
Gorsuch criticized the emergency decrees issued by executive officials across the country, including lockdown orders and the closure of businesses and schools. He warned that the concentration of power in the hands of a few wouldn't lead to sound government and that fear and the desire for safety could lead to a clamor for action, almost any action, as long as someone did something to address a perceived threat.
Gorsuch has long been critical of restrictive COVID-19 measures and was the only Justice who refused to wear a mask during oral arguments in January 2022, forcing Justice Sonia Sotomayor to participate virtually. Sotomayor has diabetes and is at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
While Gorsuch's statement is critical of the emergency response, it is important to note that it was made in response to a specific case and not a general condemnation of pandemic-era policies. As a centrist journalist, it is important to present the facts in an unbiased and unemotional manner, allowing readers to form their own opinions on the matter.