Saturday, November 14, 2020

UPDATED: Justice Alito Unloads

Yes, you really should read this article--or maybe the full address that Justice Alito gave to the Federalist Society:

Justice Alito unloads on coronavirus restrictions in bombshell Federalist Society speech

America's response to the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in 'previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty,' warned Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He also explained ongoing threats to religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Highlights of the article--and of course there's much more:

November 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Supreme Justice Samuel Alito has warned that “the pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty” and that freedom of speech is at risk of “becoming a second-tier Constitutional right.”

Speaking to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention, which was hosted online this year, Alito said, “it is an indisputable statement of fact: we have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced, for most of 2020.” 


“Think about access to the courts, or the constitutional right to a speedy trial,” said Alito. “Trials in federal courts have virtually disappeared in many places who could have imagined that the COVID crisis has served as a sort of constitutional stress test. And in doing so it has highlighted disturbing trends that were already present before the virus struck.”

Alito shared his concern about the growing “dominance of lawmaking by executive fiat rather than legislation.” Under the umbrella of emergency and disaster declarations, non-elected experts as opposed to elected representatives have pushed for sweeping restrictions which “confer enormous executive discretion” at the expense of fundamental rights.


He also discussed the devastating effect of Obergefell v. Hodges, which imposed same-sex “marriage” on all 50 states, on freedom of speech and freedom for those who uphold the real definition of marriage.

And he concluded with this sobering warning:

“In the end, there is only so much that the judiciary can do to preserve our Constitution, and the Liberty it was adopted to protect,” Alito concluded. “As Learned Hand famously wrote, ‘Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women when it dies there. No constitution, no law, no court can do much to help it.’ For all Americans, standing up for our Constitution and our freedom is work that lies ahead. It will not be easy work. But when we meet next year, I hope we will be able to say that progress was made. At that time I trust we will be back together in the flesh.”

Surely that's the lesson Covid has taught us about far too many Americans.

UPDATE: Since we're talking about the Law, why not a brief note on the legal profession? I saw this story earlier in the week. John Hinderaker has a succinct summary--Law Firm’s Withdrawal Reflects Chilling Reality:

This is one of the saddest news stories of recent times: Porter Wright firm withdraws from representation of President Trump.


Porter Wright is a large law firm with offices in eight cities across the country. But apparently it lacked the courage to stand up against the Twitter mob. The “Lincoln Project” doxxed the two Porter Wright lawyers who signed the Pennsylvania complaint, tweeting their pictures, addresses and telephone numbers, and encouraging leftists to harass them. Reportedly there also were employees at the law firm who objected to representing President Trump. Porter Wright’s abandonment of its client is shameful conduct for which I suspect it will receive little but praise.

Not many years ago, every terrorist in Guantanamo Bay was represented by one of a group of America’s top law firms. For free. No one batted an eye. Now, the President of the United States is having trouble getting lawyers to represent him in asserting perfectly legitimate claims. Some dictator.

This is what Leftist tyranny looks like.


  1. "that's the lesson Covid has taught us about far too many Americans," incl. those state legislators, who ducked the chance to challenge the lockdowns in the courts.

  2. "This is what Leftist tyranny looks like."

    Beyond a shadow of doubt.

  3. One of the nice things about a solo practice is that you don't have to consider anyone else's opinion on the cases you take.

    I read the (sort of) transcript of Justice Alito's speech. He walked as close to the line as any judge I ever heard when discussing specific cases.

    If a) I thought I could actually be of help, and b) thought I could stand to spend any time in these battleground states (no offense intended) I'd volunteer - as in, Free...Gratis...Pro Bono.

  4. I sent an email to the local counsel in the PA case offering my pro bono services after the withdrawal announcement was made. I’m an experienced federal court litigator with lots of appellate experience and one SCOTUS victory under my belt. So far, no response; but, I’m sure she’s swamped and doubt they would have been allowed to withdraw without a good backup to take over. (Briefs are due in the next couple of days.).

    1. Very generous! I'll say that Sidney Powell looked really tired on TV the other night. Hard to imagine the volume of work.

  5. Ms. Powell always appears to me to be slightly sleep deprived, but I cannot imagine the weight that she and other Trump/Rep attorneys are laboring under. Prayer is necessary.

    1. Sidney Powell ALWAYS has a calm-looking demeanor.

    2. I see her frustration.

  6. Layers won't represent.

    Welcome to my world Mr. President.

    I was teaching under contract and I was convinced that there was a breach on the part of the District. I did my own research and documented specifically the nature of the breach and the relevant law as I found it.

    All I needed was a lawyer to present the case or tell me why I had no case. I submitted the request for representation and my documentation to 12 law firms and got no response. Not one! Not one even gave me the courtesy of acknowledging my request and reason for denying services.

    Later I was told by a lawyer that the District was a major purchaser of legal services and law firms would not want to alienate them for fear of losing out on business.

    Before teaching I was a mason contractor and rental property owner. I won't bore you with the lawyer details ... but in short.

    Law is a dirtbag hypocritical profession that has no respect for law per justice. Our whole legal JUSTICE system is based on people who are only concerned with billing hours.

    I can't wait to get to Hell to see the bastards burning.

    1. Lawyers who are or would be representing President Trump re the election are being targeted.

      Left-Wing Activist Group Launches Strategic Harassment Campaign Targeting Trump Election Lawyers

      Shutdown DC, the same group that organized protests to “make sure Trump leaves the White House” by any means necessary after the Nov. 3 election and teaches people how to “punch a Nazi,” is assigning people on its email list to harass lawyers from one of the firms representing the Trump Campaign in election lawsuits.

      King & Spalding is a Georgia-based firm that the Trump Campaign has used in lawsuits before.

      “Here’s what you do: Call and email the King & Spalding lawyer below and tell them how you feel about what their firm is doing,” the email reads, providing scripts for phone calls and templates for emails. “We have divided up the list of lawyers who work at the firm so that together we can contact a huge number of people – and this is your assigned person.”

      The scripts allege that the lawsuits highlighted by the campaign are “meritless,” “outrageous,” and a “disgrace.” It also claims that any attorney involved in the lawsuits “is pursuing frivolous lawsuits for the Trump campaign that are undermining our democracy and attempting to silence the voices of Black and brown voters.”

      “Your firm is undermining our already fragile democracy, and I’m asking you to stop working for Trump,” the phone script reads.

      “You are complicit in Trump’s effort to bully and cheat his way through this election and impede a stable and safe transfer of presidential power,” the email template adds.

      The email also brags that “public pressure works” after claiming that another law firm associated with the legal fights in key states, Porter Wright, “announced that they were dropping out of the post-election lawsuit they had filed for Trump in Pennsylvania.”

      The Lincoln Project is apparently engaged in its own kind of harrassment of lawyers.

    2. We entrusted the maintenance of the rule of law in this country to this particular class of people and as a class they have failed. God help us, them included.

    3. Perhaps there may be more to this story.

      From Powerline:

      " A reader who says he has knowledge of what happened at Porter Wright writes:
      "1) They only quit one of the 5 lawsuits they were working on. They are still working the other 4.

      2) The one they quit was by mutual consent with Trump. They didn’t leave him high and dry. That one was one they were ill-suited to handle, when a decision was made by the client, Trump, to take it in a different direction then they had been going. By mutual consent it was agreed that it would be better handled by a Texas firm."
      ... cont'd


  7. John Adams: Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    1. “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

      I'll see your John Adams and raise you Benjamin Franklin. As to his use of the word "vicious" I would say that the more adamant the desire to punish others as a sign of virtue the more vicious the result.
      Tom S.

  8. Tom Verso

    With lawyers, it’s usually about billable hours. If you offer a retainer (prepay), you can usually get done type of representation. The headache is it costs around $20,000 just to get read for a court appearance. At $500 an hour, lawyer fees add up quick.

    A family member got sued for a rental in federal court in Ca. It was a horrible experience. Luckily the lawyer fees were covered by insurance, but that took a while to happen. And then we had to hire a lawyer personally to watch out for our interests, since the insurance company lawyer did not. 3 years later my family basically won after it went up to the 9th circuit, after going to a jury trial. It was a huge learning experience. Lawyers expenses were at least $150k, and insurance companies negotiate lower rates since they are a volume customer.

    My theory is lawyers have been taught in law school to win at any cost. It’s usually not about justice.