The Court has said the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause does not require religious exemptions from neutral, generally applicable laws. But it also has said laws are presumptively unconstitutional when they discriminate against religion.
New York’s restrictions “cannot be viewed as neutral because they single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment,” the majority says. In red zones, businesses deemed “essential”—including supermarkets, convenience stores, hardware stores, pet stores, liquor stores, laundromats, acupuncturists, banks, and various offices—operate without capacity limits. “The disparate treatment is even more striking in an orange zone,” the Court notes. “While attendance at houses of worship is limited to 25 persons, even non-essential businesses may decide for themselves how many persons to admit.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he won’t give an answer on court packing until at least 180 days after he becomes president and he receives a recommendation from a “bipartisan” commission on changing the Supreme Court.
Biden made the announcement during an interview with “60 Minutes,” saying the commission of bipartisan constitutional scholars would investigate various means of changing the court system, which Biden says has become a political football.
“If elected, what I will do is I’ll put together a national commission – a bipartisan commission … and I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system … it’s not about court packing,” he said. “There’s a number of alternatives that go well beyond court packing.”
Joe Biden (D) said during an interview this week that voters do not deserve to know his position on court packing.
“I know you said yesterday you aren’t going to answer the question until after the election, but this is the number one thing that I’ve been asked about from viewers in the past couple of days,” the interviewer stated.
“Well, you’ve been asked by the viewers who are probably Republicans who don’t want me continuing to talk about what they are doing to the court right now,” Biden responded.
When asked if the voters “deserve” to know his answer, Biden said, “No, they don’t.”
“I’m not going to play his game. He’d love me to talk about — and I’ve already said something on packing the court, court packing,” Biden continued:
“He’d love that to be the discussion instead of what he’s doing now. He’s about to make a pick in the middle of an election — first time it’s ever been done, first time in history it’s ever been done.”
Biden’s claim, that it is the “first time in history” that it has ever been done, is false.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has stated that voters do not deserve to know whether he will pack the Supreme Court if he wins the election in November.
On Friday, Biden was asked by 13 Action News Anchor Ross DiMattei if voters deserve to know if he plans to pack the court, a question that he and Kamala Harris have been blatantly refusing to answer.
“Sir, I’ve got to ask you about packing the courts and I know you said yesterday you aren’t going to answer the question until after the election, but this is the number one thing that I’ve been asking about from viewers in the past couple of days,” DiMattei said.
“Well, you’ve been asked by the viewers who are probably Republicans who don’t me continuing to talk about what they’re doing to the court right now,” Biden snapped back.
“Well sir, don’t the voters deserve to know—” DiMattei asked.
“No, they don’t,” Biden responded.
Leonard Leo is a board member of the Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center (CIC), where sitting U.S. Attorney General, Bill Barr, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, also once served. The Catholic lay group has been described as one of the world’s “most powerful and politically committed” secret societies, with direct ties to the Vatican as a “personal prelature,” an official status awarded by John Paul II that made sure the group only answers to the Pope himself.
Founded in 1928 by a Spanish priest and lawyer, Opus Dei, wouldn’t become the agent of global fascism until later in the twentieth century when the CIA began funneling money to an Opus Dei think tank in Chile called the Chilean Institute for General Studies (IGS) after it drew support for the overthrow of democratically elected president Salvador Allende from Chilean bishops, and was a pivotal cog in the implementation of Operation Condor – a transnational intelligence operation running through Southcom to aid South American right-wing dictatorships in the 1970s. Many of the members of IGS went on to become cabinet officials in Pinochet’s military junta.
The Pope’s special designation was the result of Opus Dei’s covert role, assisted through William Colby’s CIA, to effectuate damage control after the collapse of an Italian bank in the late ‘70s led to multiple investigations by Italian authorities that uncovered a concerted effort to disrupt and dismantle left-leaning groups or political parties in Europe by financing so-called “stay-behind units” of former Nazi soldiers and other extreme right-wing elements through a global money-laundering, drug-running and assassination network involving the highest echelons of the U.S. government, the Holy See and the Sicilian Mafia.
Known as Operation Gladio, it was only as the scheme was unraveling in the late 70s that Opus Dei began to play its vital role in covering up the movement of billions of dollars worldwide to prop up dictatorships in Latin America, as well as acts of subversion and sabotage throughout the old continent. In 1984, the organization was recruited to reorganize the Vatican’s finances, which were then under heavy scrutiny from Italian investigators.
One of the weirder ways this debate has played out since Barrett was first discussed as a potential Supreme Court nomineeis the fight over whether or not People of Praise, the group of which she is a member, is also one of the inspirations for The Handmaid’s Tale. In Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel (and its recent TV adaptation), fertile women are forced to live as childbearing slaves called handmaids. The book isn’t an established inspiration — but the story has developed legs anyway.
The inaccurate link between the People of Praise and Atwood’s story, perpetuated by a series of confusing coincidences and uneven fact-checking, first emerged in a Newsweek article and was later picked up by Reuters. Both articles have since been corrected, but the right was furious at both. The Washington Examiner called it a “smear that just won’t die.” Fox News noted several other outlets have mentioned Barrett and The Handmaid’s Tale in the same story.
To be absolutely clear: People of Praise is not an inspiration for The Handmaid’s Tale, and the group does not practice sexual slavery or any of the other dystopian practices Atwood wrote about in her novel. But the argument over whether or not the two are connected reflects the deeply contentious atmosphere in which Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court will occur — and the immense symbolic weight The Handmaid’s Tale carries in American popular culture.