Supreme Court blocks New York from enforcing Covid limits on churches


Police officers stand outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, October 26, 2020.

Stephanie Reynolds | Bloomberg Getty Images

The US Supreme Court issued a prohibition Wednesday night prohibiting the New York governor from imposing 10- and 25-man occupancy limits on religious institutions, granting a request from the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel.

The state had told the court that there was no need to take action because the ban, which was adopted as an attempt to stop the spread of coronovirus, was recently dialed back.

The court split Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomoyer and Elena Kagan by disagreement 5-4.

In a majority opinion, the court held that the restrictions would violate religious freedom and are not neutral because they “exclude houses of worship for particularly harsh treatment.”

While religious institutions were affected, businesses classified as essential can accept as many people as they want, the court said, and the list of such businesses includes acupuncture facilities and others said courts were not necessary.

The court said that there is no evidence that the litigation organizations have contributed to the spread of Kovid-19.

In his dissent, Roberts said he saw no need to take this action, as the state revised the designations of the affected areas, and none of the houses of worship now sought relief that faced numerical restrictions And can hold services up to 50 percent capacity. .

Breyer said that if the state wanted to oppose the boundaries again, the plaintiffs could return to court. Sotomayor and Kagan gave the injunction, saying “only will aggravate the nation’s suffering.”

Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh both agreed. Neither Amy Connie Barrett nor Samuel Alito recorded separate opinions.



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