The courts are asleep. Not all of them, everywhere, but [edit: ALMOST] all the ones I know of in Canada are just snoring their way through this pandemic.

What is the issue? As a part of combating COVID, the infringement of various civil rights of the people -- whether formally enumerated as in Canada (S.2) or the USA (Bill of Rights), or 'unwritten' in some other places. Freedom of movement, free assembly, pursuit of livelihood and others are all clear normal rights that governments have unilaterally curtailed.

OK, there is apparently some sort of emergency going on. Fine. But what are the limits on these emergency powers? If you're on Team Lockdown, you better take a close look in the mirror and ask what is the most you could accept. Even you must have a limit. But what would hold governments to that limit?

In normal times, sure, it could be public pressure. Press. Elections. Heck, statutes and legislation. But over the last 11 months, government after government has eschewed such obstruction and just went Police Powers Executive on us. I have heard not one such government leader declare limits of their own powers. Not one government leader bothers offer specific scientific justification for any particular measure - just obey the Experts.

So what's left, in case politicians and public health people go berserk? What could impose SOME limit? Public protest? OK maybe, but even that has been outlawed in many locations. There's police discretion - surely our Boys in Blue would not enforce absurd rules. Alas, we're repeatedly disappointed. There's the possibility of more ... vigorous ... resistance, but let's not go there. This leaves ... the courts. Ah yes, the courts, whose job it is normally to settle constitutional questions, balancing rights, rolling back bad law. Where are the courts?!?!

In the States, it took a few months, but people got sick of differential treatment of religious facilities, or of different types of schools, or of pure executive actions, and went to court. Several cases went to state or federal Supreme Court level, and the people have won some of their liberties back. (See below for some examples.)

In Canada, so far, nothing definitive. Everything is slow as molasses. People issued municipal police tickets for violating the mandates-du-jour have challenged them, but not gotten court dates within Months. It's as though by slow-rolling these cases, courts can hope they become moot. Our Rulers will certainly relax their grip on our rights before too long, right? Right? While the public seems to have few organized lobbyists and only very few political parties who speak up for these rights, at least some cases are being filed by individuals. Finally. They better get expedited attention. This is important. Support the JCCF!

Please help me assemble/keep this initial list of pandemic-related court cases. I would be most grateful.

jurisdictiontimecase partiessituation
Canada, Ontario2020-12The Bay vs. Ontariototal deference to gov't
Canada, AlbertaongoingJCCF and churchesinterim injunction rejected, case still alive
Canada, Manitobaongoingchurchesinjunction rejected, case still alive
Canada, OntariostartedAdam Skelly (BBQ guy), constitutional challengesstarted
Portugal2020-11german citizens challenging PCR-based quarantine success
USA, Nevada2021-01Churches vs. lockdownssuccess
USA, NY2020-11NY churches vs. CuomoSCOTUS success
USA, NY2021-01NY restaurantsNY Supreme Court injunction granted
Canada, Ontario2021-01North X Fitness, constitutional challengegov't backs down partly
Germany2021-01fine for birthday celebrationacquitted
Belgium2020+Mask mandate - fine challengesuccess on procedural grounds
Canada, Quebec2020-12Montreal entrepreneursjust started
Canada, Ontario2020-07 (?!)Vaccine Choice Canada (Galati) vs. lockdownsno movement ?
Canada, Saskatchewan2021-01Rebel News vs. political meeting prohibitionjust started
Canada, Quebec2021-02Synagogues wanting expanded limitssuccess
Netherlands2021-02Dutch night time curfew challengedsuccessful - no wait - reconsidering?!?
Canada, BC2021-02BC to force churches to closecourt refuses government injunction

P.S. I worked on this blog post for many minutes, and then the Sun just blurted it out.

Posted Mon Jan 11 00:02:40 2021 Tags: