SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Religious Freedom Over Cuomo Restrictions

In a 5-4 ruling released on Wednesday just before midnight, the US Supreme Court decided in favor of religious organizations who have disputed Covid-19 restrictions imposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Religious Freedom Over Cuomo Restrictions

In a 5-4 ruling released on Wednesday just before midnight, the US Supreme Court decided in favor of religious organizations who have disputed Covid-19 restrictions imposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The restrictions placed a limit on the number of people attending religious services.

New Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett sided with conservative colleagues in the decision.

“Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area,” the Court said. “But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”

In the unsigned opinion, the majority ruled in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America. The complainants argued that restrictions had violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

This Supreme Court decision follows cases coming out of California and Nevada where the justices had decided in favor of the restrictions.

The majority decision described the regulations as “far more restrictive than any Covid-related regulations that have previously come before the Court, much tighter than those adopted by many other jurisdictions hard hit by the pandemic, and far more severe than has been shown to be required to prevent the spread of the virus.”

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