Supreme Court: Pandemic No Excuse to Discriminate Against Religious Groups

The Supreme Court (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A gigantic victory for religious liberty late Wednesday night at the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 5-4 ruling, the justices told New York Governor Andrew Cuomo he can't discriminate against religious groups when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions.

Newest justice Amy Coney Barrett gave the majority in this ruling its fifth vote. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices in dissent.

'Even in a Pandemic, the Constitution Cannot Be Put Away and Forgotten'

The ruling said, "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. But 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."

The religious liberty defense group Becket represented Orthodox Jews asking for relief from Cuomo's restrictions.

Restrictions 'Very Severe'

Becket Senior Counsel Luke Goodrich reacted, stating, "Biggest takeaway: The Court resoundingly rejects blind deference to COVID-related restrictions on worship. Instead, all governments must recognize the Constitution still controls during a pandemic."

The Court labeled the restrictions Cuomo has slapped on attendance at religious services "very severe," pointing out "in red zones, no more than 10 persons may attend each religious service, and in orange zones, attendance is capped at 25."

The justices said the COVID-19 restrictions certainly aren't neutral towards religion, "Because they single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment."

Churches: Limit of 10; 'Essential' Businesses: Unlimited

While religious gatherings in a red zone are limited to 10 or fewer worshippers, the Court pointed out, "Businesses categorized as 'essential' may admit as many people as they wish. And the list of 'essential' businesses includes things such as acupuncture facilities, campgrounds, garages, as well as many whose services are not limited to those that can be regarded as essential."

Read the rest of the story from our content partners at CBN News here.

Reprinted with permission from CBN.com. Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. All rights reserved.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective