New York State Regulations on Religious Gatherings Overturned By Judge

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Judge Gary Sharpe has released a preliminary injunction overturning limitations in on religious gatherings in New York State in light of Covid-19.

The injunction released by the federal judge this morning states that the loss of plaintiffs’ free exercise rights is alone adequate to demonstrate irreparable injury.

The injunction says that gathering limitations may not be applied to any indoor religious gatherings greater than those implemented for “Phase 2 industries.”

In addition, no limitations at all may be made on religious outdoor gatherings, so long as those attending adhere to Covid-19 social distancing regulations.

Read the full injunction HERE.

Agudas Yisroel of America sent Matzav.com the following statement in response to the above development:

In a powerful legal vindication of a rallying cry Agudath Israel has made for over a month now, a federal court today substantially blocked New York Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio from enforcing both indoor and outdoor limitations on prayer.
Specifically, the judge ordered that the current limitations on houses of worship, which in Phase 2 areas limits indoor attendance to 25% of capacity, be changed to 50% of capacity, equal to the limits on allowed businesses. The judge also barred all restrictions on outdoor gatherings. In both cases proper social distancing must still be followed.
The plaintiffs, two Catholic priests and three Orthodox Jews, claimed that the state’s executive orders were a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the United States Constitution, among other claims, because the restrictions treated houses of worship differently than non-religious businesses. Moreover, the state and the city stopped religious gatherings while both the Governor and the Mayor encouraged, and the Mayor even participated in, outdoor protest demonstrations. State law also explicitly allowed outdoor graduation ceremonies.
The court felt that the executive orders were riddled with contradictions and placed constitutionally protected religious practice on a lesser plane than other practices with similar risk factors. Thus, as the court put it, “it is not the judiciary’s role to second guess the likes of Governor Cuomo or Mayor de Blasio when it comes to decisions they make in such troubling times, that is, until those decisions result in the curtailment of fundamental rights without compelling justification.”
This is a case that is likely to reverberate around the country as a check on executive authority that unjustifiably imperils religious practice.
As Agudath Israel put in its June 12 statement, “Governmental power has also been used as a sword against religion, instead of the shield the Founding Fathers intended it to be.”
With this victory in hand, Agudath Israel intends to press forward to protect religious rights such as religious education and religious summer camps. While Agudath Israel reminds its constituents to continue to prioritize safety, we must also zealously and unapologetically safeguard our way of life.

{Matzav.com}

8 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you. At this point, anyone that still wears a mask and insists that everyone else wear one, is an brainwashed ignorant idiot.

    • To Plain & simple,
      Yes, you are simple. When you become ill with Covid and can’t speak anymore because your throat was torn apart what shall we tell your family? He became ill because he was stupid? He said plain and simple narishkeit? He believed he was smarter than everybody else? He died because he was soooo smart? Just shut up moron and take your psych meds.

      • what does this have to do with wearing masks? anyways you dont lose anything by wearing a mask. nothing bad happens. all that ends up happening is your protect yourself and other people. i guess wanting public safety makes someone a brainwashed ignorant idiot

      • Commish, are you that dumb? Is this the first time in history that people have sore throats and fever????? Plain & Simple is 100% right. It’s all brainwashing and nonsense and it’s idiots like you who still believes this coronavirus who should take their psych meds.

    • Not being brainwashed it out of respect and to comply with the possibility that it can be mutual regardless ur personal opinions on what should be or not be followed.

  2. should we be applauding ?
    As our desires to go back overrode 
    this was inevitable 

      implies Our lack of concern for the well-being for all and every person

  3. The Court clearly stated that Cuomo and DiBlasio who encouraged protests which segued into looting and riots engaged in selective enforcement of social distancing against religious communities and violated the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment This case might shed light on how the same court as opposed to the more liberal federal courts in NYC would rule on the camp opening case The DOH emails and comments about the Agudah submission and any comments between DOH and Cuomo will make for interesting reading

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