ACB Smacks Down Cuomo’s COVID Rules In Supreme Court

( Newly-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett cast the deciding vote in a major ruling on Wednesday night, slapping down New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to implement COVID restrictions that impacted places of worship.

In a 5-4 ruling, that would have possibly gone the other way had Coney Barrett not been on the bench, the Supreme Court sided with religious communities against the Governor of New York who had put limits in place on religions services.

The new ruling means that New York authorities can no longer enforce Cuomo’s unconstitutional restrictions against religious gatherings in the state. Coney Barrett and other conservative-minded judges who sided with religious communities cited the lack of evidence that Jewish synagogues or the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn had played a part in the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Despite there being a lack of evidence that this was the case, the claim formed the basis of Cuomo’s ruling that restricted services to just 10-25 people.

In the decision, the Supreme Court slapped down Cuomo’s hypocrisy and the incoherent nature of his ruling.

“Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk of those attending religious services,” the decision explains. “Among other things, the maximum attendance at a religious service could be tied to the size of the church or synagogue. Almost all of the 26 Diocese churches immediately affected by the Executive Order can seat at least 500 people, about 14 can accommodate at least 700 people, and 2 can seat over 1,000.”

The ruling went on to say that the Agudath Israel of Kew Gardens Hill could seat up to 400 people, and that it was “hard to believe” that admitting over 10 people in a venue that could seat 1,000 “would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows.”

If this is a sign of the kind of common sense rulings we can expect with Justice Barrett on the bench, then maybe we can survive a Joe Biden presidency. At least for one term, anyway…

The court reminded New York authorities that even in a pandemic, the Constitution “cannot be put away and forgotten.”

“The restrictions at issue here, by effectively bring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty,” it continued. “Before allowing this to occur, we have a duty to conduct a serious examination of the need for such a drastic measure.”

You can access the full ruling here.