Fauci thinks scientific expertise trumps rule of law | Opinion
Anthony Fauci was “surprised and disappointed” by last week’s ruling against the mask mandate for travelers issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s a CDC issue,” the president’s top medical adviser Joe Biden told CNN. “It shouldn’t have been a matter of justice.”
Fauci, who opposes federalism as well as judicial review, epitomizes the mild-mannered arrogance of technocrats who assume their scientific expertise trumps the rule of law.
Because they believe they know what is best for us, they are appalled by any attempt to limit their influence or restrict their power.
Fauci vaguely criticized the substance of U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s ruling, calling her reasoning “not sound” and “not particularly strong.”
But her main argument was that she didn’t have to determine whether the CDC had complied with the law because the courts shouldn’t “get involved in things that are unequivocally public health decisions.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed, “Public health decisions should not be made by the courts. They should be done by public health experts.
But Mizelle hasn’t made a public health decision; she rendered a judicial decision based on her understanding of the relevant law.
Contrary to Psaki’s involvement, the courts are not only allowed but compelled to make such rulings, as she surely would have conceded had Mizelle ruled in favor of the CDC.
The Justice Department is appealing Mizelle’s decision, but it did not seek a stay that would have reinstated the mask requirement while the case is pending.
While that omission might seem puzzling given the CDC’s assertion that the mandate “remains necessary for public health,” it makes sense if the administration’s goal is to facilitate future power grabs by keeping the agency’s statutory authority as vague as possible.
If there is “no room for the courts” to assess the legality of disease control decrees, as Fauci argues, it follows that the Supreme Court erred not only in blocking the national moratorium about CDC evictions, but even addressing the issue.
Obviously, he also should have stayed out of the dispute over the federal vaccination or testing requirement for private employees, which he also ruled illegal.
Fauci’s impatience with legal niceties has been evident for some time. “States very often have considerable leeway to do things the way they want to do,” he complained, in a 2020 interview, with BBC Radio 4, “as opposed to in response to mandates federal, which are relatively rarely given.
The result, Fauci explained, was “considerable disparity, with states doing things differently in inconsistent ways.” This “disparity,” he claimed, “has been a major weakness in our response” to the pandemic.
The ‘wiggle room’ that bothers Fauci is required by the Constitution, which leaves states with primary responsibility for dealing with public health threats under a broad ‘police power’ that the federal government does not have. never received.
So his beef isn’t just with how COVID-19 politics has played out in the United States; it is an objection to our system of government.
This system limits the federal government to specifically enumerated powers, which do not include a general mandate to control communicable diseases or protect public health.
At the same time, the Constitution and Supreme Court case law prohibit states as well as the federal government from violating certain rights, even during a public health emergency.
This explains why courts have heard and sometimes upheld objections to COVID-19 control policies that restricted religious gatherings, the right to own and bear arms, and access to abortion.
While Fauci is correct that such policies should be left to government experts, all of these interventions have been ill-conceived, regardless of their legal merits.
“It’s a bad precedent when decisions on public health issues are made by people (who) don’t have public health experience or expertise,” Fauci told Fox News on Saturday. Americans should be grateful that the courts do not share his confusion.