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Illiberalism Fueled by the Coronavirus Pandemic: An Existential Threat to Judicial Independence (Part Two)

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This is the 15th  in a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to Covid-19 coronavirus  (SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name)  justice systems’ active participation in what is known as a  whole-of-society-approach(WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19. The information in this post was drawn from recent reports in the Economist, the Guardian, Time, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other news outlets. Views and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Last updated May 27, 2020. (An expanded version of both parts of this post is published in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COURT ADMINISTRATION, Volume 11, Issue 2 (Summer 2020)).

Autocratization and Illiberalism: The New Normal? Autocratization is democratic backsliding, a trend toward autocracy, a system of government in which a single person (the autocrat) possesses absolute power to weaken institutions such as an independent judiciary…

Illiberalism Fueled by the Coronavirus Pandemic: An Existential Threat to Judicial Independence (Part One)

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This is the 14th  in a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to Covid-19 coronavirus  (SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name)  justice systems’ active participation in what is known as a  whole-of-society-approach(WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19. The information in this post was drawn from recent reports in the Economist, the Wall Street Journalthe Washington Post, Time, and other news outlets. Views and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Last updated May 22, 2020. (An expanded version of both parts of this post is published in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COURT ADMINISTRATION, Volume 11, Issue 2 (Summer 2020)).
In a Wall Street Journal essay at the end of April 2020, Joseph A. Ladapo, an associate professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, wrote that the coronavirus pandemic has set the stage for a showdown between civil liberties  and public health (“The Looming Civil-Liberties Battle,” Apr…

Choosing Hope Over Despair: What have we learned so far from our experiences with the global Covid-19 pandemic?

This is the 13th in a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic -- SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name and Covid-19 is the disease it causes --and the justice systems’ active participation in a whole-of-society-approach(WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19.

Wall Street Journal’s columnist Peggy Noonan reflected on the question in the title above in her  April 11-12 Declarations column:


As a nation we’ve learned that as a corporate entity of 330 million diverse souls we could quickly absorb, adapt and adjust to widespread disruption. I’m not sure we knew that. Crazy cowboy nation cooperated with the authorities. American comported itself as exactly what you thought it was or hoped it was but weren’t sure: compassionate, empathetic, committed, hard-working, creative and, as a friend said, funny as hell. Under great and immediate stress there’s been broad peacefulness and civility.

The Unexpect…

U.S. Military Missing in Action in the War Against the Coronavirus Pandemic

This is the 12thin a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic -- SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name and Covid-19 is the disease it causes --and the justice systems’ active participation in a whole-of-society-approach (WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19. Updated April 4.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “missing in action” literally as “missing and unable to be confirmed as captured or killed following military action.” The term is used figuratively, as I use it in the title of this post, for “someone or something notably or unexpectedly missing, absent, or inactive.” The titles of two blogs written here over the last two weeks tell the story: Absence of the U.S. Military in the Fight to Mitigate the Covid-19 Pandemic (March 23)Other Countries Are Mobilizing Militaries Against the Coronavirus Epidemic: The United States Is Not (March 26)

When I wrote the last blog on March 26th, th…

States of Emergency and Martial Law

This is the eleventh in a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic -- SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name and Covid-19 is the disease it causes --and the justice systems’ active participation in a whole-of-society-approach(WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19.
Law and order is changing across the United States and around the world during the existential crisis of the coronavirus epidemic in unprecedented ways as people, groups, and organizations violate quarantine and stay-at-home orders; ignore restrictions on travel and congregations; horde scarce medical supplies and provisions; engage in price gouging; mount illegal protests; and commit crimes. Police officers in New York City today are patrolling parks, monitoring restaurants and bars to ensure they are closed, and making sure that people are complying with “social distancing” in public spaces. When every expert and most government o…