SCOTUS Sends Major Message About COVID Restrictions

SCOTUS Sends Major Message About COVID Restrictions

( – The movement restrictions that have come with COVID-19 have presented huge difficulties for businesses and other groups. Religious organizations have been among the worst affected. Because most religious celebrations typically involve large congregations, their activities have been limited in many respects since the onset of the pandemic.

Cuomo’s Excessive Ban

Of course, the degree to which this should be allowed has been the subject of fierce debate. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) took a strict approach, banning congregations of more than 10 people in the worst-affected areas of the state and 25 in the next-worst-affected areas. However, on Wednesday, November 25, the US Supreme Court overruled this directive. Siding with the two religious organizations who took a case against the state government, the court found these rules to be too strict, and hence unlawful.

Conservatives and religious advocates have welcomed this ruling, pointing to the fact stores and other businesses were subject to more lenient rules.

Implications Going Forward

Since this decision, it’s become clear SCOTUS intends to oppose such rules across the country. On Thursday, the US Supreme Court directed California courts to re-examine the directive in place in the state banning indoor congregation for houses of worship.

Analysts have noted that the newly-installed Amy Coney Barrett probably had a big impact on these rulings. Coney Barrett, who Donald Trump appointed after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September, is a devout Catholic. SCOTUS ruled against Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions 5-4. Earlier in the year, similar cases in California and Nevada were decided by the same margin, but the court ruled against the houses of worship rather than in their favor.

With a vaccine set to be available to the public early next year, it looks like our policymakers may not have to make these kinds of decisions for much longer. However, there is real symbolic importance to this judgment. The US Supreme Court has shown its respect for Americans with religious beliefs, pushing back against the Liberal narrative that faith is outdated.

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