Gorsuch Condemns ‘Breathtaking’ COVID Emergency Powers
…”The point of an emergency is that it’s a sudden, unforeseen, urgent kind of scenario,” says Jonathan Bydlak, director of the Governance Program at the R Street Institute, a right-of-center think tank. Bydlak, my guest on this week’s episode of American Radio Journal, compares it to a car accident: a situation where the normal rules might have to be suspended—an ambulance can run red lights, for example, to respond to the call. Months later, however, when an accident victim might be on his way to physical therapy, he doesn’t get to bypass the red lights.
“Sometimes people conflate the initial crisis—the initial instigating event—with this broader question and say ‘just because something important is going on, it must be an emergency’ and that’s not necessarily the case,” says Bydlak.
That’s exactly what happened over and over during the pandemic. Just look at the Title 42 saga, which Gorsuch said was an example of government officials prolonging “an emergency decree designed for one crisis in order to address an entirely different one.”
“In some cases, like this one,” he added, “courts even allowed themselves to be used to perpetuate emergency public-health decrees for collateral purposes, itself a form of emergency-lawmaking-by-litigation…”