US Supreme Court blocks Cuomo's bid to limit number of worshipers

SCOTUS blocks decision of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to limit the number of worshipers and congregants in the state's synagogues and churches

Tags: Andrew Cuomo
Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 2:54 PM

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the decision of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to limit the number of worshipers and congregants in the state's synagogues and churches.

The decision passed with a majority of just one (the court splitting 5 - 4), and was the first time that President Trump's nomination to the court, Amy Coney Barrett, tipped the balance, adding her vote to those of the other conservative-leaning judges.

In its ruling, the court wrote that "It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000–seat church or 400–seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows."

Citing the loss of First Amendment freedoms, the court also said that "There can be no question that the challenged restrictions, if enforced, will cause irreparable harm." On the other hand, "it has not been shown that granting the applications will harm the public."

"Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty," the court concluded.

"Before allowing this to occur, we have a duty to conduct a serious examination of the need for such a drastic measure."



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