US Supreme Court backs Christian & Jewish places of worship over New York coronavirus curbs
Added 11-26-20 06:37:02am EST - “The US Supreme Court has barred curbs on religious gatherings in New York, after Christian and Jewish groups challenged the state order on restrictions in coronavirus hot spots.” - Rt.com
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In a 5-4 vote late on Wednesday, the court granted requests made by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish congregations to cancel attendance limits at places of worship in “red and orange” zones.
The top court said in the unsigned ruling that religious services should not be treated differently from permitted secular gatherings: “Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”
The restrictions “strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty,” the ruling added.
The religious groups claimed that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order on October 6 singled them out under the curbs designed to limit the spread of coronavirus infections. Only up to 10 people could gather at sites of worship in the “red zones,” while “essential” businesses were allowed to remain open without capacity limitations.
Separate requests made by the groups were rejected by a federal judge in Brooklyn on October 9, and in a month, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York declined the challengers’ emergency requests.
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