Judge lifted restrictions on the number of people attending COVID-related worship services in New York State-SCOTUSblog


The Supreme Court approved the request of the Roman Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox synagogues on Wednesday evening to prevent the execution of a New York executive order restricting access to churches. Both the parish and synagogue claimed that the executive order violated the right to free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment, especially when secular businesses in the area were allowed to open. The Supreme Court’s order on Wednesday dismissed two similar requests from churches in California and Nevada in the summer, indicating that since Judge Amy Coney Barrett replaced Lu, who died in September. Since Judge Si Bud Ginsburg, the court has clearly shifted to the right.

Five conservative judges – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Barbara Barrett-Standing in front of religious groups and limiting attendance. Chief Justice John Roberts (John Roberts), Stephen Breyer (Stephen Breyer), Sonia Sotomayor (Sonia Sotomayor) and Judges Elena Kagan (Elena Kagan) all dissented.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, issued an executive order at the center of these two disputes in October. As part of the state’s efforts to fight COVID-19, the executive order and one of its initiatives is to identify clusters of COVID-19 cases and then take action to prevent the spread of the virus. The area around the cluster is called the “red” area, and worship activities in this area are limited to 10 people. The area surrounding the “red” area is called the “orange” area. The number of people attending the service is limited to 25 people. The “yellow” area surrounds the “orange” area; attendance is limited to 50% of the building’s maximum capacity.

parish Went to the Supreme Court On November 12, after the lower court refused to do so, the judges were asked to restrict attendance. It told the Supreme Court that the order actually “effectively prohibits face-to-face worship in the affected churches, which creates a “destructive” and “mentally harmful” burden on Catholics.”

Synagogue Follow They emphasized on November 16 that although they abide by the previous COVID-19 rules, they were unable to provide services to all cohabitants due to the restrictions imposed by Cuomo’s order. They believed that Cuomo’s order was aimed at the Orthodox Jewish community. Because other Orthodox Jews did not follow the rules.

Cuomo Postponed last week, Responded that attendance restrictions no longer apply to churches and synagogues that are now designated as yellow areas. But in any case, Cuomo told the judge that the order was not because the gathering was a religious event, but because the gathering might become a “super spreader” event, so it was not aimed at gatherings. Cuomo added that, if anything, the order will deal with religious gatherings more favorably than secular events involving similar risks (such as dramas and concerts).

in Unsigned opinions in the Catholic Diocese case This also applies to Synagogue case, The five-member majority party prevented the state from enforcing the attendance limit, while the challenger continued to file a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and returned to the Supreme Court to make a final ruling on the merits if necessary.The court explained that Cuomo’s order did not appear to be neutral, but a “single[s] Go in and out of the chapel to seek particularly harsh treatment. For example, although the synagogue or church in the red zone can only accommodate up to 10 people, how many people can be accommodated in nearby “essential” businesses (including acupuncture or campsites).

The court went on to say that because Cuomo’s decree is not neutral, it is subject to the strictest constitutional test, which is strict review. The court ruled that the order failed the test because the order was too broad. There is no evidence that these synagogues and churches have contributed to the outbreak. On the contrary, other less restrictive rules can be used instead, such as maximum participation in meetings based on the size of the facility. The court added that if these restrictions are enforced, they will cause permanent harm to those who cannot attend the meeting, and for them, real-time services are not enough to replace them.

In both cases, the court only issued its opinion a few minutes before midnight on the day before Thanksgiving.

Gorsuch issued a brief independent opinion, and he emphasized, “[e]Even if the Constitution takes a vacation during the pandemic, it cannot be taken. “

Kavanaugh (Kavanaugh) put forward his own views, and emphasized that Wednesday’s court ruling is only a provisional ruling, until the Second Circuit Court can take action in this case. The merits of the justices.

Kavanov also reiterated the core of Roberts’s objections. Roberts admitted that the restrictions in these cases “probably” violated the free exercise clause, but insisted that the court does not need to rule “serious and difficult”. Problem” because attendance restrictions no longer apply to challengers. Kavanaugh countered that there was “no good reason” for not taking immediate action. He pointed out that if the chapel that challenged the restrictions did not return to the red or orange area, then the court’s ruling “ There will be no harm to the state, nor will it affect the state’s response to COVID-19. “However, if these rulings do eventually return to the red or orange areas, the rulings will ensure that they are not subject to unconstitutional treatment.

Breyer raised his own objections, and Sotomayor and Kagan joined. They agreed with Roberts that the court did not need to take immediate action. Regardless, Breyer added, because we know a lot about how the virus is spread, especially when people are at increased risk of spreading the virus during indoor activities where people are in close contact with each other for a long time, we question whether attendance is a violation. The Constitution is “not clear yet.”

Sotomayor also raised another objection, and Kagan joined. In her view, the challenger’s case is “easier” than the churches in California and Nevada last summer to challenge the order to close churches and attendance restrictions, because Cuomo’s order treats chapels more than similar secular gatherings. Sotomayor made a clear rebuttal to Gorsoć’s views. He agreed, “Even in the face of such a fatal crisis, states must not discriminate against religious institutions. She emphasized that these principles are not threatened today.

This article is Originally published in Haoge Court.

Published on Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo, American Agdas Israel v. Cuomo, Featured, Urgent appeal and application

Recommended citation:
Amy How
The Justice lifted restrictions on participation in COVID-related worship services in New York,
SCOTUS blog (November 26, 2020, 2:18 AM), https: //www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/justices-lift-new-yorks-covid-related-attendance-limits-on-worship-services/

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