When a Supreme Court judge makes up facts America is in trouble
Justice Sotomayor's claim 100,000 American children are seriously ill with COVID is nonsense
There has been a sharp rise in the number of children contracting COVID in the United States, with a total of 7.9 million cases since the pandemic began. That has resulted in 82,843 hospital admissions for children aged 17 years or younger since the pandemic began in 2020. The admission rate for children is estimated at .74 per 100,000 cases and last week about 300,000 children were diagnosed with COVID implying 2 or 3 cases needed hospital treatment.
Everyone should be concerned with the safety of their children and no one should understate the risks to children from any infectious disease and children are exposed to many of them. In my generation, pretty well everyone had mumps, measles, chicken pox, seasonal flu and rubella. No one panicked and most of us survived without fanfare.
The Supreme Court of the United States is currently hearing a case about the Biden Administration using the Occupations Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to encourage and enforce vaccine mandates by American businesses. The issue is controversial and divisive so it is not a surprise that it has reached the Supreme Court.
During the hearing, Justice Sotomayor commented: "We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators. We have over 100,000 children, which we've never had before, in serious condition, many on ventilators." That statement is unsupported by any data and patently false. In the now famous words of Donald Trump, Justice Sotomayor’s words comprise “fake news”.
It is a sad state of affairs when those appointed to the highest court in the land lack the integrity to stick to the facts based on the evidence in the record and base their judgments on the law. The term “reasonable apprehension of bias” could not be more applicable than to Justice Sotomayor in this instance.
The dangerous disease of judges bringing personal biases based on false information into the court room is not unique to the United States. The Ontario Court of Appeal witnessed the same phenomenon when hearing the reference regarding the Trudeau “carbon tax” 1 where Ontario’s Chief Justice George Strathy found in paragraph 7 of his judgment dismissing Ontario’s appeal:
“  There is no doubt that global climate change is taking place and that human activities are the primary cause. The combustion of fossil fuels, like coal, natural gas and oil and its derivatives, releases GHGs into the atmosphere. When incoming radiation from the Sun reaches Earth’s surface, it is absorbed and converted into heat. GHGs act like the glass roof of a greenhouse, trapping some of this heat as it radiates back into the atmosphere, causing surface temperatures to increase. Carbon dioxide (“CO2”) is the most prevalent GHG emitted by human activities. This is why pricing for GHG emissions is referred to as carbon pricing, and why GHG emissions are typically referred to on a CO2 equivalent basis. Other common GHG’s include methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride.”
There was no evidence before the Court of Appeal regarding the hotly disputed theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and Justice Strathy’s finding of “no doubt” can be no higher than his person belief not withstanding the inconsistency of AGW with the laws of physics and the fact that many scientists including 60 Nobel laureates dispute the theory has merit. It is pretty clear that Justice Strathy’s judgment reflected his personal belief as much as any evidence he heard and Canadians were left with a “carbon tax” that reflects “judicial activism” rather than sensible legislation.
Democracies are in danger when Justices go outside their role to impose their beliefs on the population rather than applying their knowledge and training to adjudicate cases based on the law and the evidence in the records before them and on which they can find “facts”. Making findings of fact on “no evidence” usurps the role of Parliament and the Legislatures in enacting laws by imposing rulings that reflect what the judge chooses to believe without accountability to anyone.
It is no surprise to me that both Justice Sotomayor and Justice Strathy are seen as “Liberal” judges whose appointments to the bench were likely motivated in part by a desire that the Courts promote the left wing rhetoric of those who appointed them.
We expect and deserve better.
Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2019 ONCA 544 (CanLII)