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Supreme Court rules against COVID-19 church restrictions in Colorado and New Jersey

December 15, 2020

We have had a few Supreme Court victories in regards to the unconstitutional State COVID-19 church closures in recent weeks with the most recent decision being rendered against Andrew Cuomo in New York and now we have another one, or rather two more.

The Supreme Court today ruled against church lockdown orders in both Colorado and New Jersey, here is more:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of houses of worship in Colorado and New Jersey that opposed capacity limits on worship services.

In the Colorado case, the court ruled 6-3 to send the lawsuit, brought by the High Plains Harvest Church, back to the lower courts, where the church had lost.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented, saying the case was moot because Colorado had already lifted all the limits. “There is no reason to think Colorado will reverse course — and so no reason to think Harvest Church will again face capacity limits,” the dissent said.

In a second ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling limiting New Jersey’s application of Covid-19 restrictions that apply to religious settings, granting an injunction sought by two religious institutions — a church in North Caldwell and a synagogue in Lakewood.

The church and synagogue asked for an injunction allowing them “to host indoor, in-person religious worship for their respective congregations on the same terms and conditions allowed for comparable secular activities; that is, either the 100% of capacity afforded ‘essential’ non-retail businesses or, alternatively, the 50% of capacity allowed for ‘essential’ retail businesses, with the same health and safety protocols and exemptions applicable to comparable secular activities.”

It is interesting to note that in both cases the dissent revolved around the fact that the restrictions were already dialed back and therefor the suit was irrelevant because there are no indications there are plans to shut down again. I could not disagree with this argument any more strongly because there is no doubt in my mind the lockdowns are coming back and this puts the States on notice that stopping people from worshipping is a bridge too far.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bruce Booher permalink
    December 15, 2020 10:35 pm

    Out here in crazy CA, Gov. French Laundry has houses of worship closed. I thought SCOTUS decisions generally were looked at applying to the entire country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 16, 2020 6:00 am

      I think SCOTUS upheld the California ban when Ginsburg was still on the court, hopefully this is going to get back there at some point!

      Like

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