Governors and other political leaders around the country continue to battle the pandemic, and that often includes controversial rules and restrictions.
The issue becomes especially contentious when religion becomes involved — many citizens of faith have felt unfairly discriminated against, as churches and synagogues have been forced to close.
But the Supreme Court just handed down a significant victory for religious freedom.
In recent weeks, a fresh surge of coronavirus cases prompted some governors to enact stricter regulations. This includes New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who limited religious services to 10 people in high-risk areas.
This became a First Amendment issue for many residents as well.
So, when this significant case was taken to the highest court in the land, the religious residents of New York hoped they’d emerge with a hard-fought win.
And that’s precisely what happened. Via The Daily Caller:
The Supreme Court late Wednesday night sided with religious organizations challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions and called the New York Democrat’s measures ‘discriminatory’ in its injunction for emergency relief.
The 5-4 ruling came partly thanks to newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who sided with the religious organizations.
The majority decided that Cuomo’s restrictions on religious communities are “far more restrictive than any Covid-related regulations that have previously come before the court.”
Furthermore, Justice Brett Kavanagh said plainly: “New York’s restrictions on houses of worship not only are severe, but also are discriminatory.”
He added that the state’s restrictions on houses of worship “aren’t tailored to the circumstances,” and the First Amendment cannot be infringed upon.
Jewish organizations stepped up to contest Cuomo’s ruling as well, and some believe the Governor was unfairly targeting their community. Here’s one statement:
The Governor made overwhelmingly clear that his Cluster Initiative was designed to target a particular religious minority that he falsely blames for the spread of COVID-19 — Orthodox Jews.
The injunction request clarified that while Cuomo “did not attack religious belief generally,” he did single out a particular religion. As a result, Orthodox Jews felt reportedly felt threatened.
Other citizens called out the apparent hypocrisy involved.
And Justice Neil Gorsuch highlighted that perceived hypocrisy, saying Cuomo’s ruling makes “laundry and liquor, travel and tools essential, while traditional religious exercises are not.”
Gorsuch finished by saying this is precisely the sort of thing the First Amendment defends against.
- The Supreme Court ruled against NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 5-4, in a religious freedom battle.
- The court decided that Cuomo’s pandemic restrictions were “discriminatory” and “far more restrictive” than other Covid-related regulations they’d seen.
- Jewish organizations believe Cuomo singled them out, and that the governor “falsely blames” Orthodox Jews for the increased spread of the virus.
Source: The Daily Caller