Supreme Court Rules New York Cannot Limit Religious Services | KFI

Supreme Court Rules New York Cannot Limit Religious Services | KFI

Horowitz was reacting to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision issued late Wednesday that barred Cuomo from enforcing his "cluster initiative" that placed limits on church services to ostensibly limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The dissenters included Chief Justice John Roberts, also conservative but more moderate in his voting patterns - who has been the swing vote in divided decisions for the past year. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's three liberal members in dissent.

The move was a shift for the court.

Two lower courts had sided with NY in allowing the restrictions on houses of worship to stand. New York's Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood recently informed the court that recent changes to the policies in question meant none of the diocese's churches or the area's synagogues would any longer be subject to the restrictions.

The court specifically noted that many non-religious activities have not been restricted (or have been differently restricted) by Gov. Cuomo's regulations for no apparent reason other than the fact that liberals enjoy to do them - and certainly not for any public health-related reason.

As infections and deaths spike across the country, the decision is a sign that the newly configured Supreme Court will not look kindly on steps taken by state and local officials to protect health and safety if they interfere with the autonomy of religious entities. Cuomo asked in a conference call with reporters.

It was a very different approach than McConnell had taken four-and-a-half years prior, when he refused to allow the Senate to consider President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, after Justice Antonin Scalia died more than eight months before the 2016 presidential election. "I think this decision by the Supreme Court backs that up".

Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish organization with synagogues affected by the restrictions, also sued. In the most severe "red zone" areas, churches and synagogues were limited to 10 people at a time.

"The applicants point out that the State might reimpose the red or orange zone restrictions in the future".

The justices acted on an emergency basis, temporarily barring NY from enforcing the restrictions against the groups while their lawsuits continue.

In court, the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn said the restrictions unfairly singled out places of worship.

The Supreme Court's majority ruled that "even in a pandemic, the Constitution can not be put away and forgotten".

The majority argued the restrictions singled out houses of worship for "especially harsh treatment" compared with secular facilities, and there were "many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services".

Gugino, who's church is in a New York Orange Zone, no longer has to cap its capacity at 25 people.

And when it came to Roberts, Gorsuch spent several pages accusing him of "rewriting history" in his dissenting opinion on Wednesday and his earlier opinions in the California and Nevada cases. "The restriction should be neutral and have general applicability-like 25 people at any business-that would be neutral and generally applicable".

"The Governor might reinstate the restrictions".

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