The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against the state of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo in a late night emergency ruling barring the state from reimposing limits on religious gatherings. [full pdf here]
In the 5-4 ruling the newest supreme court justice Amy Coney Barrett sided with the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, while justice John Roberts sides with the liberal justices in the minority, but seems to agree on the merits.
“Stemming the spread of COVID–19 is unquestionably a compelling interest, but it is hard to see how the challenged regulations can be regarded as ‘narrowly tailored,’” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion.
“They are far more restrictive than any COVID–related regulations that have previously come before the Court, much tighter than those adopted by many other jurisdictions hard-hit by the pandemic, and far more severe than has been shown to be required to prevent the spread of the virus at the applicants’ services.”
“It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000–seat church or 400–seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows.” (full pdf)