November 29, 2021

The Supreme Court VS Governor Cuomo

2 min read

With a 5 to 4 votes The Supreme Court blocked New York Governor Cuomo’s COVID guidelines on attendance at religious services. Granting request by catholic diocese and synagogues in New York, the ruling came late Wednesday night minutes before Thanksgiving.

In October, Governor Andrew Cuomo set restrictions that affected places of worship, limiting the capacity to sometimes as little as ten people, no matter the size of the building. Cuomo stated that places of religious worship would be fined $15,000 if they acted in violation of the new rules.

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Then, on November 9, the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court to have these restrictions overturned. Two Orthodox Jewish synagogues and their parent organization also filed suit.
The diocese stated they “have operated safely for months now, strictly adhering to existing government guidelines and unquestionably protecting their parishioners from any spread of COVID-19.”
 The Supreme Court blocked Cuomo’s limits of places of worship, stating that “the regulations cannot be viewed as neutral because they single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment. “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.”
Newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett is said to have cast the pivotal vote that made this case depart from previous cases. Meanwhile, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing in the dissenting opinion, which stated the court had acted rashly.
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Justice Neil Gorsuch  stated, “Cuomo had treated religious activities less favorably than nonreligious ones, according to the New York Times.

“So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians. Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience? “It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques, wrote Gorsuch.

Cuomo’s strict guideline had created color-coded limits on mass gatherings and businesses. in an effort to control the outbreak in New York City areas that are experiencing a surge in COVID cases.

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