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US SCOTUS Decision Blocking NY Governor's Limits on Religious Gatherings Praised by Faith Leaders, Conservatives

23:05  26 november  2020
23:05  26 november  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

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Late Night SCOTUS Ruling Saves NY Religious Groups From Onerous COVID Restrictions. The Supreme Court worked late going into the holiday weekend, ruling in favor of New York Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups that sued over the state ’ s COVID-19 limited religious service

The U. S . Supreme Court issued an injunction late Wednesday blocking New York ’ s governor from enforcing 10- and 25-person occupancy limits on religious institutions, granting a request from the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel. © Provided by NBC News.

The U.S. Supreme Court's new conservative majority voted 5 to 4 on Wednesday to bar restrictions on religious services in New York, which had been imposed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to limit the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the state.

a person talking on a cell phone: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in by Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas at the White House October 26 in Washington, D.C. © Tasos Katopodis/Getty U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in by Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas at the White House October 26 in Washington, D.C.

Cuomo told reporters in a Thursday morning teleconference that the decision was a way for the new Supreme Court to "express its politics and philosophy." The decision was praised by many faith leaders and conservatives.

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© Bill Tompkins/Getty Images NEW YORK , NY - March 18 MANDATORY CREDIT Bill The case is the latest pitting religious groups against city and state officials seeking to stop the spread of In the late-night decision , Barrett sided with her conservative colleagues in the dispute, while Chief Justice

The temporary ban on measures imposed by New York state on religious gatherings won't actually have an impact now as restrictions have been eased in the state . The groups sued to challenge attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated red and orange zones, where New York

"I think that the Supreme Court ruling on the religious gatherings is more illustrative of the Supreme Court than anything else," Cuomo said following the decision. "It's irrelevant from a practical impact because the zone that they were talking about has already been moved, it expired last week. I think this was really just an opportunity for the Court to express its philosophy and politics. It doesn't have any practical effect."

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn cheered the ruling after the court sided with the diocese and two Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

"I am grateful by the decision of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, who have recognized the clear First Amendment violation and urgent need for relief in this case," said The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, in a statement.

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US Supreme Court Blocks Cuomo' s NY Coronavirus Limits on Houses of Worship. "The Governor might reinstate the restrictions. But he also might not. And it is a significant matter to override This landmark decision will ensure that religious practices and religious institutions will be protected

The US Supreme Court has barred New York from imposing coronavirus restrictions on houses of worship in a ruling likely to be heralded by conservatives as a victory for religious freedoms. Video: California church asks Supreme Court to block coronavirus restrictions on gatherings (FOX News).

"I have said from the beginning the restrictions imposed by Governor Cuomo were an overreach that did not take into account the size of our churches or the safety protocols that have kept parishioners safe," he continued, later adding: "Our churches have not been the cause of any outbreaks. We have taken our legal battle this far because we should be considered essential, for what could be more essential than safely gathering in prayer in a time of pandemic."

Agudath Israel of America mirrored this sentiment, stating in a celebratory post on their website that the decision will have a "nationwide legal impact on the status of religious freedom for years to come."

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— A federal judge on Saturday blocked Kansas from limiting attendance at in-person religious Laura Kelly if pastors and congregations observe social distancing. The judge' s decision will remain Kelly' s office said six deaths and 80 cases are tied to religious gatherings . For most people, the new

Laura Kelley that restricted religious gatherings to 10 people, despite the state ' s spike in coronavirus cases. The state ' s Legislative Coordinating Kelley, a Democrat, called the decision "shockingly irresponsible" in a briefing on Wednesday, where she reported a nearly 40 percent increase in deaths

"This is an historic victory," said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel, "This landmark decision will ensure that religious practices and religious institutions will be protected from government edicts that do not treat religion with the respect demanded by the Constitution."

Following the decision, the first decisive one for newly appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, others quickly took to social media to share their reactions, either with a great deal of respect for the decision - and contempt of Chief Justice John Roberts' dissent - or condemning the court for percieved disregard of health experts and public health.

An array of conservative politicians, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, celebrated the decision on Twitter. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Trump campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn, as well as the president's fiercest supporters including chairman of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp, shared that the decision can be brought back to President Donald Trump's multiple conservative SCOTUS appointees.

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that the Supreme Court decision was a "major win" for religious Americans and slammed Cuomo and other Democrat elected officials for having "acted as totalitarians," accusing them of using the COVID-19 outbreak as a way to suppress people's right to worship. He also criticized Roberts' decision to side with the three liberal Justices in dissenting.

"Yet again Chief Justice Roberts willing to set aside his duty to enforce the Constitution when state or local leaders are hostile to religion under the guise of public health," the Republican senator tweeted. "But thankfully, this time he and the liberal justices lost."

He added: "As families celebrate #Thanksgiving today, they can also give thanks that they will be able to gather to pray during Christmas this year without fear of totalitarian Democrats who want to stop us from exercising our fundamental right to worship."

Missouri GOP Senator Josh Hawley also celebrated the decision, echoing Cruz's accusations of religious discrimination from Democrats.

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  Opinion: Supreme Court's scientifically illiterate decision will cost lives The Supreme Court ruling against New York state's decision to limit religious gatherings in a few high-incidence parts of New York City during the Covid-19 pandemic will cause grave danger in the rest of the country, where public health authorities will feel hamstrung to restrict religious gatherings even when the virus is spreading out of control, writes Jeffrey Sachs.Last month, I wrote that Amy Coney Barrett would help to usher in a new post-truth jurisprudence on the Supreme Court. While I had cited her anti-science statements on climate change, her arrival on the court has created a new 5-4 majority against public-health science at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Big news from the Supreme Court late last night - Court strikes down NY Gov Cuomo's discrimination against churches and synagogues," Hawley tweeted on Thursday. "Justice Barrett the key to the majority."

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy criticized Cuomo for his response to the pandemic and doubted the science behind the restrictions.

"Power-hungry Democrats like Cuomo have used the pandemic as an excuse to target people of faith with radical restrictions," he tweeted. "It has no basis in science, and the Supreme Court agrees."

Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini thanked Trump for having "saved the Supreme Court" following Barrett's appointment and slammed former President George W. Bush, a Republican, for appointing "liberal" Roberts as Chief Justice.

Meanwhile, several public health officials and others spoke out against the ruling. Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defence Fund, celebrated the four justices who voted against unsafe gatherings during a pandemic.

"What a truly terrifying appalling decision," Ifill tweeted. "Justice Sotomayor's dissent in this case, as in the prison case, & Justices Ginsburg & Kagan's in the COVID voting cases, will be the written record of how 4 justices on the SCOTUS valiantly tried to save the nation from this pandemic."

Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital, told CNN's Boris Sanchez on Thursday that the ruling "devalues lives."

"This is not about our religious freedom or civil liberties," Hotez said. "This is about all hands on deck to save lives until we get everybody vaccinated. Human life is not cheap. That Supreme Court ruling devalues lives."

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the decision a product of "bad logic" and noted that it's a "really bad omen" for president-elect Joe Biden's policies, especially environmental ones.

"The first major decision from the Trump-packed court — and, naturally, it will kill people," Krugman tweeted. "The bad logic is obvious. Suppose I adhere to a religion whose rituals include dumping neurotoxins into public reservoirs. Does the principle of religious freedom give me the right to do that?"

He added: "Freedom of belief, yes; the right to hurt other people in tangible ways — which large gatherings in a pandemic definitely do — no."

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Supreme Court Blocks New York COVID Restrictions on Religious Gatherings .
In a late-night order on Thanksgiving eve, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to block New York’s restrictions on religious worship services in “red zones” where COVID-19 infection rates are exceptionally high. The practical effect of the decision is nil—there are currently no “red zones” in effect—and the decision is both non-final (it is only imposing an injunction on the rules while the case against them proceeds) and quite narrow. However, itThe practical effect of the decision is nil—there are currently no “red zones” in effect—and the decision is both non-final (it is only imposing an injunction on the rules while the case against them proceeds) and quite narrow.

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