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Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch calls COVID-19 response "the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in peacetime history"

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch calls COVID-19 response "the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in peacetime history"
  • In a statement, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch made it clear where he stands on the pandemic-era emergency response.

  • Gorsuch called it "the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country."

  • His statement came in response to a Republican-led effort to extend Title 42, a restrictive immigrant policy.

As COVID-19 spread across the United States in 2020, among the wide-ranging efforts to insulate the country from the pandemic was Title 42, a restrictive immigration policy allowing the rapid expulsion of asylum seekers and other migrants.

The measure — initially implemented by the Trump administration and expanded under President Joe Biden — expired this month. The US Supreme Court last week rejected a push by Republican-led states to keep it in place.

In an eight-page statement in response to the case, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch didn't mince words. He called the country's response to the COVID-19 emergency "the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country."

"Executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale. Governors and local leaders imposed lockdown orders forcing people to remain in their homes. They shuttered businesses and schools, public and private, " Gorsuch wrote in the statement, released Thursday.

Gorsuch has long been critical of restrictive COVID-19 measures, the Associated Press reported. In January 2022, he was the only Justice who refused to wear a mask, forcing Justice Sonia Sotomayor to participate in oral arguments virtually. Sotomayor has diabetes and is at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

In Thursday's statement, Gorsuch warned that the "concentration of power in the hands of so few" won't lead to "sound government."

"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. A leader or an expert who claims he can fix everything, if only we do exactly as he says, can prove an irresistible force," he wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider