Governor Cuomo, Michael Flynn, John Roberts discussed on Morning Edition
Just 10 people in a 5 to 4 decision, The conservative majority found that the rules were quote severe and inflexible. Joining us now law Professor Kim Waylay and Him. Thanks for being with us on this Thanksgiving. I didn't expect so much legal news. You're helping us understand a few stories this morning. Happy to be here. Can you just talk about the legal questions that that were at stake here? And this ruling about Governor Cuomo's restrictions? Yeah, There are three really big issues. One is the First Amendment. So essentially, the majority held That the restrictions were potentially unconstitutional under the First Amendment, to the extent to which they negatively affected houses of worship. The second is is the kind of relief that was granted here. This is a prelim preliminary injunction. The court could change its mind when we get later to the full hearing, but it's extraordinary relief. And essentially, Cuomo has backed off of that order. So there's a strong argument that this was mood in this moment. It doesn't apply to any houses of worship. So it's pretty extreme for the court to nonetheless grant a preliminary injunction on the possibility that the order will kick back in and the third legal issue is really one as a federalism that is, um as the lower courts held in the descent held This is a state trying really hard to keep the members of the public safe during a pandemic. And you would think jet conservatives would kind of back off of that and say, Listen, this is state sovereignty. We're not as justice is going to jump into this fray even if there is arguably a First Amendment issue, and the descent also said This'll wasn't a singling out houses of worship. They were affected, but they weren't discriminated against intentionally least on this record on that's that's the place that the majority disagreed. And having justice Barrett on the court is what put it over the edge because over the summer, similar claims by Nevada and California failed, so we're seeing already. The effects of her fire drill appointment to the U. S Supreme Court prior to the very case. I mean, John Roberts sided with the Liberals here, right? And yet the conservative majority was still able to hang on to Two of 54 majority, which which is extraordinary, Exactly, and he you know, he sided with the majority or the liberals. On the point of that I mentioned earlier on this muteness point. He's listening. He's saying, Listen, if this were to come back to life, If Cuomo were to re impose this, the church's could come back to us. We should just sit tight and not jump in. And that's a that's a conservative approach. But again as you indicated, Justice Bharat what went with the majority justice is Gorsuch and Cavanaugh weighed in separately in their own concurring API opinions on I think what we're seeing here is we're going to see an elevation of First Amendment rights over other public issues of public concern. Because this majority is conservative majority is very, very worried. We saw this With Justice Alito in his Federalist speech this last week. So I mean, just in the few seconds we have left. If this was a moot question, the state of New York was this a majority, basically sending a message that these issues are very important. I want to send a message here. I do think this is going to potentially chill states governors in the future when they issued these orders that they have to kind of handle religious institutions with kid gloves. Um, well, a law professor at University of Baltimore, also author of the book How To Read the Constitution. And Why, Kim. Thank you as always, and have a lovely Thanksgiving. Thank you, David. How many more people might President Trump pardon before he leaves office on January 20? There's a long list of people around the president who are accused or convicted of criminal activity. And yesterday he used his power to pardon one former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and previously admitted to his crime. NPR Justice correspondent Ryan Lucas has covered the INS announced this case. Hey there, Ryan. Good morning, Steve. What did Flynn admit to doing? Well. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations that he had had with the Russian ambassador in late 2016. Flynn went on to co operate with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and provided a substantial assistance to investigators..