Due to the surge in coronavirus cases across the United States, the Supreme Court has banned New York from imposing certain restrictions on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as heavily affected by the virus.
The judge split into 5-4 late Wednesday, with the new judge Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic, occupying the majority in her first publicly recognized vote as a judge. The court’s three liberals and Supreme Court judge John Roberts objected.
This move was a court shift. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared in court, the judge split five-to-four, leaving a pandemic-related capacity limit affecting churches in California and Nevada. It was.
A court proceeding could allow New York to reassess the restrictions on places of worship in areas designated as virus hotspots. However, Catholic and orthodox Jewish groups who challenged the restrictions are no longer the subject of them, thus reducing the effects of court proceedings.
The Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Agdat Israel in the United States have churches and synagogues in the areas of Brooklyn and Queens, formerly designated as red and orange zones.
In these red and orange zones, the states restricted attendance at places of worship at 10 and 25, respectively. However, these particular areas are now designated as the Yellow Zone by the less restrictive rules that both groups have disputed.
The judge acted in an emergency and temporarily banned New York from imposing restrictions on the group while the proceedings continued. In an unsigned opinion, the court said the restrictions “chosen places of worship for particularly harsh treatment.”
“Members of this court are not public health experts. We need to respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibilities in this area. But even in the pandemic, we forget to put away the constitution. The limitation in question here is at the very heart of the guarantee of religious freedom in Article 1 of the Amendment to the Constitution, by effectively prohibiting many from participating in religious service. ” Opinion stated.
In the opinion, synagogues and churches cannot exceed 10 in the Red Zone, but companies considered “required”, from grocery stores to pet stores, can continue to operate with no capacity limit. .. Also, in the Orange Zone, the synagogue and church limits are 25, but “even non-essential companies can decide for themselves how many people they will accept.”
Roberts disagreed, writing that the court proceeding was “simply unnecessary.”
“Neither of the places of worship specified in the application is currently subject to fixed numerical limits,” he said, and the 10- and 25-person limits in New York “seem to be overly limited.” “He added.
“The governor may reinstate restrictions, but he may not, and public health officials on what is needed for public security in the midst of a deadly pandemic. It is an important issue to invalidate the decisions made by, “he wrote.
Roberts and four other judges wrote separately to explain their views. I didn’t bullet.
The court proceeding was the victory of the Catholic and Orthodox Jewish synagogues who challenged the state restrictions announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on October 6.
The Brooklyn Diocese, which covers Brooklyn and Queens, claimed that the place of worship was unfairly selected by the governor’s executive order. The parish claimed that it was previously operated safely by taking measures such as limiting attendance to 25% of the building’s capacity.
Part of Brooklyn and Queens is now in the Yellow Zone, and attendance at the place of worship is limited to 50% of the building’s capacity, but the church keeps attendance low.
In a statement, parish lawyer Randy Mastro said, “It is very quick and decisive for the Supreme Court to protect the free exercise of religion, one of our most basic constitutional rights. I am very grateful to have acted as. ”
Avi Schick, an attorney at Agudath Israel in the United States, wrote in an email: “This is a historic victory. This groundbreaking decision ensures that religious practices and institutions are protected from government orders that do not treat religion with the respect required by the Constitution.”
Two lower courts upheld New York. The state argued that religious rallies were treated less restrictively than secular rallies with the same risk of infection, such as concerts and plays. The governor’s office did not comment immediately.
According to state websites that track areas designated as hotspots, New York currently has some areas designated as orange zones, but no red zones.
Supreme Court bans Covid’s attendance restrictions at New York places of worship | US Supreme Court
Source link Supreme Court bans Covid’s attendance restrictions at New York places of worship | US Supreme Court