Justice John Roberts has lost control of the Supreme Court

Justice John Roberts has lost control of the Supreme Court

Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images Chief Justice John G. Roberts administers the Judicial Oath to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett as her husband Jesse Barrett holds the Bible on October 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. With Justice Amy Coney Barrett anchoring a new, arch-conservative majority of justices, Chief Justice John Roberts is no longer the one in power. In the first major public act of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court, the majority ruled against New York attendance restrictions to religious services to limit the spread of COVID-19. Barrett’s arrival in the seat held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg means the chief’s vote is no longer necessary if conservatives are seeking expansive rulings in the cultural and social issues that matter to them. When the Supreme Court of the United States decides something in the middle of the night, there is often a true emergency: a prisoner on death row may be seeking mercy before his execution, or a law or executive order that’s about to go into effect threatens real harm to a litigant. But a few minutes before midnight on Wednesday, five justices on the nation’s highest court, facing no emergency other than perhaps their own Thanksgiving plans, handed down a ruling in a pair of New York cases where the conflict between religion and government efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 came to a head. Four justices were in dissent, and all of them were of the […]

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