MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The Supreme Court considers whether the courts have anything to say about how the executive handles certain illegal immigration cases. Including the dusty old legal right of habeas corpus.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.
Also today on the Monday Moneybeat, understanding unemployment claims and there’s plenty to understand.
Plus the sounds of Easter services from around the world.
And an explanation on WORLD’s approach to covering coronavirus on Ask the Editor.
REICHARD: It’s Monday, April 13th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Trump admin hopes country can reopen soon » President Trump delivered an Easter Sunday message yesterday as the coronavirus pandemic kept church doors closed. He said it’s important to maintain social distance right now, and he acknowledged it’s difficult to remain separated on a day of celebration…
TRUMP: But we’re winning the battle. We’re winning the war. We’ll be back together in churches right next to each other. Celebrate, bring the family together like no other. We have a lot to be thankful for. Happy Easter, everybody.
The president said he is considering forming another task force to begin planning for the lifting of recommended restrictions and reopening the country. But he insisted he will continue listening to health experts and will not move too quickly.
And one of those experts is top U.S. infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN he does see evidence that the crisis is beginning to plateau in the United States.
FAUCI: You don’t want to get out there prematurely and then wind up, you’re right back in the same situation. So obviously we’re looking for the kinds of things to indicate that we can move forward in a gradual way to essentially reopen the country to a more normal way.
But he said the virus will dictate when that can happen.
The United States over the weekend surpassed Italy for the highest official coronavirus death toll in the world—more than 21,000. About 20,000 people have died in Italy. However, many still doubt China’s official numbers.
U.K. passes grim milestone as prime minister leaves hospital » Meantime, the U.K. has passed a grim milestone of its own.
Matt Hancock is the U.K. Secretary of state of Health and Social Care. He told reporters on Sunday that another 737 people had died…
HANCOCK: Today marks a somber day in the impact of this disease, as we join the list of countries that have seen more than 10,000 deaths related to coronavirus.
But the British government did have some good news to report. The pace of new confirmed cases and hospitalizations there appears to be slowing.
And doctors have released British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from a London hospital. The 55-year-old was the first world leader confirmed to have the virus and eventually landed in the intensive care unit.
Johnson thanked the hospital staff and singled out two nurses who stood by his bedside for 48 hours. He said—quote—“things could have gone either way.”
JOHNSON: The reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night, they were watching, and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed.
After his release, Johnson made his way to Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat northwest of London. His medical team advised him not to return to work immediately.
Scientists race to find treatment for COVID-19 » Meantime, scientists continue searching for an effective treatment for COVID-19.
Researchers in Australia say a drug designed to kill head lice is showing early promise. According to a report in the Antiviral Research journal, the drug Ivermectin killed the coronavirus within 48 hours in lab tests.
The journal said it stopped replication of the virus that causes COVID-19. But more tests are needed to ensure it’s safe for patients and to determine if the drug has the same effect on the virus in humans.
Meantime, a different drug is also showing signs of effectiveness. The New England Journal of Medicine tracked 53 people with serious respiratory problems from the coronavirus who received the drug remdesivir.
About two-thirds of the patients improved over the course of 18 days. And more than half were able to come off of ventilators. But again, health experts warn it’s too soon to draw definitive conclusions about the treatment.
President Trump said the federal government has just deployed two major shipments of the anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine from the national stockpile.
TRUMP: It’s going to various cities. And we are also disposing and getting, as quickly as we can, portions of it to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.
A study in France showed a 91 percent success rate for the drug when tested on over a thousand patients. But some health officials, including members of the White House coronavirus task force are not yet sold on using the drug. The government is making the drug available for doctors to prescribe at their discretion but is not advising its use.
Texas abortion groups ask high court to allow abortions » Abortion facilities in Texas have asked the Supreme Court to step in to allow abortions to continue during the coronavirus pandemic.
Abortion groups filed an emergency motion asking the justices to overturn a lower-court order and allow abortions using medication.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order last month barring non-essential medical procedures amid the pandemic. And the state said providing abortions other than for an immediate medical emergency would violate that order.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday allowed abortions to proceed in cases where a woman would be beyond 22 weeks pregnant, but the appeals court put that order on hold for now.
Similar legal fights over abortions are ongoing in Alabama, Ohio and Oklahoma.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: The Supreme Court considers whether the courts have a say in how the executive branch handles some illegal immigration cases.
Plus, WORLD editor in chief Marvin Olasky explains our approach to coronavirus coverage.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: It’s Monday morning and we’re open for business here on The World and Everything in It. Today is the 13th of April, 2020.
Good morning to you, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Grateful to have work to do, and good morning!
Well, kind of sad day for me: the last oral argument, at least for now. Twenty cases sooner than I’d expected, but as we know, the justices postponed all of the remaining oral arguments because of the coronavirus precautions.
So this last case is another one dealing with deportation proceedings. Specifically, the scope of review that courts have over them. Courts have limited review in immigration matters, so disputes arise quite often.
Here are the facts.
In 2016, a man from Sri Lanka named Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam came into the United States illegally at the southern border. Border patrol arrested him almost immediately.
EICHER: Thuraissigiam fit the criteria for what’s called “expedited removal proceedings.” No court hearing required.
That process created in 1996 applies to individuals in the country illegally for less than two years and who are apprehended within 100 miles of the border.
Immigration authorities interviewed him to determine if he had credible fear of return. They weren’t convinced.
But Thuraissigiam argues he ought not be subject to expedited removal.
So he asks the Supreme Court to expand what courts can review in immigration matters, given the facts of his case.
REICHARD: Thuraissigiam says he fled Sri Lanka because he is a member of an ethnic minority group persecuted by the government there.
Thuraissigiam’s lawyer, Lee Gelernt, pointed to something more fundamental than the immigration process: and that’s the right to habeas corpus. That’s Latin for “you may have the body.” Habeas corpus is the right to have a court review the rationale for continuing to imprison someone.
It’s in Article I, section 9 of the Constitution. Lawyers know it as the Suspension Clause. It says the federal government cannot suspend that right except in extraordinary circumstances, such as rebellion or invasion. Here’s Gelernt:
GELERNT: The Suspension Clause is a check on the political branches. The political branches undoubtedly have enormous power in the immigration area, but the one thing it cannot do, and this court has never allowed them to do, is remove a check on themselves.
Keep in mind immigration judges are not judicial branch. They’re executive branch, a part of the Department of Justice.
Defending the government, Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler emphasized Congressional intent.
This exchange is with Justice Elena Kagan:
KAGAN: On certain conditionsif he shows certain things he has a right to asylum. And what he’s trying to get is a hearing that adequately determines whether he can show those things…
KNEEDLER: Again, asylum is discretionary. He does not have a right under the asylum statute. And Congress in affording a right to go through this screening process, was not required to attach to it judicial review. If Congress knew that was coming maybe it wouldn’t have provided for asylum at all…
But Gelernt countered that deportation is a restraint on liberty and that triggers habeas corpus.
Justice Samuel Alito saw a problem with that.
ALITO: What’s unusual about this situation is that your client really doesn’t want to be released…The government could take him to the airport, give him a ticket, and say, you are released, and he could leave. That’s not what he wants. And the fundamental point of habeas is to secure release from what’s claimed to be unlawful executive custody.
Well, sure his client wants release, came the reply. But the whole point of habeas is to ensure the rule of law. That’s first.
Justice Stephen Breyer seemed to favor that analysis, as he addresses the government lawyer.
BREYER: And that right became a right of the people, not just the king. The king wanted to see if his officers were following the law. Now they may have a lot of discretion and so forth, but, here, we have a statute which says: Judge, you cannot determine whether the officer has followed the law. I mean, the inconsistency with habeas and the right of the people to bring it to see if the king’s or the president’s or whoever’s officers are following the law would seem fairly seriously undermined, wouldn’t it?
Kneedler responded that that’s not this case. But then Justice Breyer raised a scenario of the unjust immigration official who behaves contrary to the Constitution.
And this is where Kneedler bumped into a problem.
KNEEDLER: This is a very different and limited and focused context where an alien who has entered illegally has no right to be in the country and nonetheless is asking for basically mercy under the statutes that Congress has enacted.
BREYER: Maybe that’s it. I don’t know. You’d have to at least, if he has a right to mercy under the statute, look…
Mercy. Sometimes in the law it’s called clemency, and it’s discretionary. Both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh cited case law that suggest constitutional rights are not in jeopardy here. Kavanaugh quoted an opinion that garnered an eight-justice majority.
KAVANAUGH: “The court has long held that an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application.”
So that’s a statement of law for eight justices. Why is that statement wrong, or, if it’s not wrong, why doesn’t it control here?
Because one’s about due process and the other judicial review. Two different things.
However the court decides, automatic asylum is not on the table here. Thuraissigiam will have to get a judge to look at the process that deemed him ineligible.
This one’s too hard to predict, so I won’t.
And that’s this week’s Legal Docket!
MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: The Monday Moneybeat.
NICK EICHER: A little bit of good news on the economy to mix in with the terrible unemployment numbers: Wall Street had its best week since 1974. All the major stock indexes enjoyed double-digit percentage-point rises in value, between 10-1/2 percent and nearly 13 percent. And that’s just four days’ time, with the markets closed for Good Friday.
Claims for unemployment insurance, again, staggeringly high. Let’s jump right in now with David Bahnsen, financial analyst and adviser, and let’s spend some time getting an understanding of those overall numbers, as well as how the government stimulus is going so far.
David, good morning.
DAVID BAHNSEN, GUEST: Good morning.
EICHER: So, each week, we’re looking at government reports on unemployment claims, and I know they’re complicated and they represent heartbreaking economic pain. The Labor Department reports are estimates, and they’re subject to revision along the way. Thursday morning came another release on seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the headline number is a little over 6-1/2 million. That number may stick in the memory, because that was virtually the same number a week ago—6.6 million—until the government revised the number up to 6-point-almost-9 million.
Now, I didn’t give you time to explain last week, and maybe pushed for a too-simple explanation. So let’s take a moment and walk through this, to help us understand how to interpret these unemployment numbers.
BAHNSEN: Well, I appreciate it, Nick, and I think that there is a sense in which the initial jobless claim number, which is what’s coming out each Wednesday, it’s the new number for that week on unemployment claims. And I think last week I started answering a couple different questions at once all in my mind—and I don’t think it’s a good excuse, but I’m doing something in the range of 20 hours a day right now of processing data.
And you can very easily confuse a couple different things at once, and what—the initial jobless claims number, it’s really interesting.
By definition the initial number is new initial claims for that week. What is cumulative is the unemployment number.
OK, so those are two different things.
We will get a jobs number for whatever the total unemployment rate is. And then that represents some revision from let’s call it 3.5 percent where the unemployment number was before. And people are debating if that unemployment number is going to be 10 or 15 or something.
The weekly initial jobless claims number is brutal. But, by the way, let me make one anecdotal point, Nick, because you asked me about this before. There’s been three weeks now of the numbers coming in. It was something like 3.5 million and something like 6.5 million. Then something like 6.5 million again and then the middle number got revised upward. The first number had been revised downward a little. Either way, you’re something in the range of all those numbers put together about 16-17 million.
All three weeks, the stock market the day the report came out in the morning was up huge. And so, so many questions have centered around why would the market be responding favorably to such bad news.
This is the point that needs to be reiterated again. There is no mystery to the fact that the economy being shut down has taken away all these jobs.
There is, however, uncertainty around that point I brought up before which is what jobs are coming back and when. And so the question is which ones won’t and what kind of structural unemployment are we going to leave ourselves with out of this coronavirus policy response?
EICHER: And, again, it’s going to take time actually to know, because workers are going to go different places and people who had businesses shut down, presumably, will find other ways to earn a living, and it’s impossible to predict that future.
BAHNSEN: Well, so there is that argument of sort of reinvention. There is the question of what businesses are going to get back up and running again and when and how.
But there’s also another variable that we don’t really know and that is what the impact of the stimulus will be. How, as these checks begin arriving to small businesses, what will the impact be there? There’s plenty of people that could debate about the merits of the policies’ pros and cons. That’s fine. But that doesn’t necessarily address the question of what its impact will be even if there’s other demerits to the policies.
Most would not deny that spending hundreds of billions of dollars is going to have some impact in the economic measurement. And so we don’t have a precedent for this kind of thing. There’s no point, whether you’re talking about the Great Depression, whether you’re talking about the great financial crisis, there’s no point at which we’ve ever had this type of governmental response. And for right or for wrong, that has to be played into the economic calculus as well.
EICHER: Let’s talk about the recovery plan implementation. I’m curious about that because what we’re talking about is recovering a $20 trillion massive economy, the biggest in the world, it doesn’t exactly handle like a sports car. But how do you think that CARES Act implementation is going, getting that money into the economy and helping get through this patch?
BAHNSEN: It is still early to speak with too much confidence. I am trying my best to really ignore a lot of media reporting on it and talk to business owners, talk to banks, and look at the data. And I can see inside the market here: 480,000 loans processed in five business days, totaling $124 billion.
EICHER: Put that in context. Ah, what’s normal?
BAHNSEN: Oh, ah, how many loans are processed in a week? I’m saying 480,000 SBA7a loans, I doubt there’s 1,000 a week that are normally processed. But because this is a special program that’s very ad hoc. But the volume—and, by the way, you know, the volume you would expect to be higher because demand is through the roof and there’s no real underwriting they have to do. Most loan processing takes time because they’re actually underwriting the loan.
EICHER: Where the government’s underwriting the whole thing.
BAHNSEN: Yeah. In this case, the government’s instruction to the banks is you don’t need to underwrite. Basically there’s a few basic questions. A few pages. They have to attest that they’re going to keep their payroll going. Things of that nature. But more or less the complexity of banks making sure it’s a credit-worthy borrower is not at play here.
This is backed by the SBA and then the intent for most borrowers is that they won’t have to pay the money back because if they keep their payrolls going and meet the criteria of the paycheck protection program, the loans will be forgiven.
So, the question of how it’s going is obviously a bit mixed because on the one hand I think that sheer volume of loans and dollars extended is massive and impressive.
But you do hear stories of some banks weren’t up and running and so, there was some red tape getting out the door, but no more than anyone would have expected. So, I think it’s been a big program and then they’re already asking for another $250 billion.
EICHER: Let’s hit the direct-aid-to-taxpayers before we go.
BAHNSEN: [Yeah,] that money was supposed to begin going out on Thursday. Friday being Good Friday, I’m not sure if that kind of held some things up. So, by the time we talk next week, we’ll now have a week of seeing if that money is getting in people’s pockets.
And I think I told you before that I’m not as bullish on this aspect of the CARES Act being particularly stimulative. I’m positive there’s families out there that have run out of money in their checking account that are going to benefit from getting a few thousand bucks from the bank. But as far as— you can’t—how does an economy get stimulated? It gets stimulated from goods and services. And if the economy is shut down and there’s no goods and services, having a couple extra bucks in the bank is not necessarily stimulative on a macro level, even if it might provide some humanitarian aid to certain folks who need it.
But I do think it’ll give us a gauge in another week just to see if some of that money is starting to trickle its way into main street America.
EICHER: David Bahnsen, financial analyst and adviser. David, thank you.
BAHNSEN: Thank you, Nick.
NICK EICHER: Today is Monday, April 13th. You’re listening to The World and Everything in It, and we’re glad you are! Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next: sounds of Easter, 2020.
Christians around the globe celebrated the miracle of Christ’s resurrection yesterday, even in the midst of stay-at-home orders and quarantines.
During last week’s CNN town hall meeting on the coronavirus, Pastor Rick Warren reminded viewers that COVID-19 might prevent churches from gathering, but the pandemic has no power to cancel Easter.
WARREN: As shepherds we are called to protect the flock of God, not just lead it, and feed it. And if you really love your congregation, tell them to stay home on Easter. That’s going to curtail the assembly, but it’s not going to curtail the celebration…
EICHER: So church leaders and pastors got creative. WORLD reporter Paul Butler brings us a special report on how Christians around the world celebrated Easter during these interesting days.
PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: Churches in New Zealand were some of the first on the globe to kick off Easter 2020. Auckland Evangelical Church pre-produced an online service with a fellowship time afterward using Zoom:
EV AUCKLAND: Well, good morning and welcome to church! My name is Rowan, and I’m one of the pastors here. So glad you can join us for EV online. It’s such a shame we can’t gather together in person but at least we can come together today around the Word of God, and what a day it is, so we’re going to sing together of how great it is that Jesus rose from the dead. Let’s sing: “Seek Him now, the King of Heaven…”
Hour by hour, from east to west, Christians of many denominations joined the chorus. In the Philippines, Union Church of Manila reused some of last year’s Easter service video of children covering a cross in flowers.
LYRIC: Christ the Lord is risen today, hallelujah…
Pastor Chad Williams hosted the rest of the service from his living room with his young daughter at his side. He had a novel way of making the service interactive.
CHAD WILLIAMS: I’m going to say “He is risen” and you’re going to respond “He is risen indeed” three times. But what I’m asking you to do, because I can’t see you all on Easter Sunday, I want you to get out your cellphones and do the selfie thing. Then I want you to post them to our Facebook page or send them to my email account…so here we go. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
A lot of digital Easter services included combined efforts—musicians and pastors from multiple churches recording videos together.
SONG: JESUS, YOU ALONE ARE WORTHY
Reach SA, a ministry of the Church of England in South Africa, provided a combined service from St. James Church Kenilworth in Capetown. Bishop Glenn Lyons preached the message:
LYONS: The conversation that Hebrews wants you to have is not what’s in store with you in relation to this coronavirus, it’s what’s in store for you in relation to God at the end, whenever that may come?
In Latvia, 120 to 150 people usually attend the Ventspils Baptist Church. Their YouTube video of Sunday’s Easter service has had more than 200 views.
Many of the traditional service elements took place from the church sanctuary, as musicians and leaders remained at least 6 feet away from each other. But a choir can’t spread out that much, so many churches—including Ventspils Baptist Church—produced a virtual choir piece to play during the service:
[EASTER SONG IN LATVIAN]
Many pastors around the world connected this Easter to that first resurrection Sunday. Like Grace Midtown’s Matt Reynolds in Atlanta, Georgia.
MATT REYNOLDS: A lot of us are in these shelter-in-place orders. We’re in our houses, and when you read the gospels and the resurrection story, it’s actually amazing that you find in John chapter 20, verse 19, the disciples basically doing the exact same thing that we’re doing…
Across town at Berean Baptist Church, Pastor Roger Skepple spoke to an empty sanctuary, but kept the feel of any other Sunday—leading his people in prayer as though they were sitting right there in the pews with him.
SKEPPLE: Even at times like this, we can reach out to others. We can share the gospel, be conduits of mercy to other people. Help us to look beyond ourselves.
[SOUND OF CARS ARRIVING AT SERVICE]
While most Easter services were virtual, Nassau Bay Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, took a different approach. They ordered a low-power radio transmitter and invited their more than 350 members to come to the church parking lot for a drive-in sunrise service.
SOUND: This Easter Sunday, it’s great to see all of you here and want to welcome you. If you can hear me, flash your lights so I know we’re coming through.
The audio fidelity was a little sketchy, but no one seemed to mind. Roy and Ruth Fletcher were just glad to worship and celebrate resurrection Sunday with their friends, even if separated by car doors.
FLETCHER: I’m just kind of overwhelmed with the amount of cars here this morning…it’s fantastic, it’s good to see that everybody is doing ok…
Easter 2020 was not all online services and parking lots though. WORLD heard from one lay leader ministering in a camp for displaced persons near a war zone abroad. He went from tent to tent declaring the resurrection—one family at a time. Others marked the day in silent praise, suffering persecution or imprisonment for their faith.
But from one end of the globe to the other, Christians declared the news of Christ’s victory over the grave and his completed work of salvation. Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed.
SONG: God of glory majesty, praise forever to the King of Kings. Praise forever to the King of Kings.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Paul Butler.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Monday, April 13th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Next up: Ask the Editor.
This time WORLD Editor in Chief Marvin Olasky explains WORLD’s approach to covering the coronavirus.
MARVIN OLASKY, EDITOR IN CHIEF: At the end of February I received letters asking WORLD to say the coronavirus was no worse than the normal flu: After all, every year we have x number of flu fatalities, so why was WORLD saying this is different?
I responded at that time with two reasons WORLD took the coronavirus seriously: physical reality and Biblical exegesis. The reality, which everyone now knows: People without symptoms can spread this flu for two or three weeks. A young, healthy person can unwittingly kill an older person or someone with weakened lungs or heart.
The exegesis, which most Christians now know: The sixth commandment, you shall not murder, takes into account acting in foolhardy ways that jeopardize other people or ourselves.
The Bible also has very strict laws about isolating those with infectious diseases: See, for example, chapter 13 of Leviticus. That’s not a ceremonial law abrogated by the coming of Christ, but an extension of the Ten Commandments. The bottom line: We should love our neighbors as ourselves.
Now, letters rarely ask about the seriousness. Now some say a governor has no right to advise a megachurch to meet electronically rather than in person. As WORLD readers know, we fight hard against threats to religious liberty, so that is certainly true when churches are discriminated against – but what if a governor is even-handed: No large secular meetings, no large religious meetings?
A great Dutch theologian who was also prime minister, Abraham Kuyper, died 100 years ago. Kuyper developed a useful approach called “sphere sovereignty.” Churches have authority over religious activities, but governors have authority for public safety. If a governor discriminates against churches he’s overstepping his sphere. That’s when we need to yell loud and hard—but we should not become known for crying wolf.
The good news in the coronavirus crisis is this: We all have more time to pray, more time to read the Bible, more time to think about our own sin. Some of our neighbors may realize: “What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” But the flip side is also true: What can make me sneer again? Misuse of the name of Jesus.
When news spreads of Christians acting self-sacrificially to love our neighbors, that encourages a worried world to check out the Gospel and hear the good news. But if we harm our neighbors by ignoring medical advice, we place millstones around the necks of those who might otherwise see Christian love.
As Christians become known for saving lives, we have more opportunity to help save souls.
I’m Marvin Olasky.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: pregnancy presents its own unique challenges. Pregnancy during a pandemic, that’s another thing. We’ll talk to some expectant moms about their experiences.
And, most classrooms are now closed for the rest of the school year. We’ll tell you how that’s affecting some of the most vulnerable students.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Go now in grace and peace.