Last week, yet another stunning decision was handed down by the United States Supreme Court in what has become an especially controversial term.
The 5-4 ruling upholding coronavirus-related caps on church attendance in Nevada found favor among liberals, but the decision of Chief Justice Roberts to again cross to the left side of ideological aisle caused shock among conservatives including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), according to The Hill.
The case at issue centered around a lawsuit brought by Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley challenging a 50-person limit on attendees for church services in Nevada, a regulation resulting from coronavirus concerns.
Calvary Chapel argued that the 50-person limit on church services was an infringement on First Amendement rights and that religious entities were being treated differently than restaurants and casinos that were permitted to operate at 50% of their facilities’ fire code capacity levels.
The church contended that its facility is of such a size that 100 or more members of the congregation could safely attend services and follow appropriate social distancing protocols, and as such, maintained that the emergency restriction put in place by the state is inherently unfair.
Roberts takes heat
Once the case made its way to the high court, many observers assumed that the ruling would fall on the conservative side and vindicate the arguments made by the church.
However, Roberts once again crossed the aisle and upheld the Nevada restriction instead of standing up for religious liberty and freedom of speech.
Sen. Cruz was especially scathing in his criticism of the decision and took to Twitter to cite a dissent penned by Justice Neil Gorsuch.
John Roberts has abandoned his oath.
But, on the upside, maybe Nevada churches should set up craps tables? Then they could open? https://t.co/6pWoOwg9ts
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 25, 2020
Sen. Cruz was harsh, but he was also right in that Roberts now seems more concerned with appeasing the left than upholding his duty to the Constitution.
Technically, conservatives hold a 5-4 edge on the high court, but as evidenced by a host of recent decisions, the chief justice has shown that fact to be almost irrelevant.
Given his conduct on the bench over the last few years, Roberts may as well be a card-carrying liberal.