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.”
Header: A Hasidic Jew walks past a closed synagogue in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs of New York City, on October 9, 2020. – New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on October 6, tough new restrictions in several areas recording high infection rates to try to ward off a second coronavirus wave. Non-essential businesses, including gyms and restaurants, closed in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)
Source: Arutz Sheva