Tags: Coronavirus | cuomo | deblasio | chuch | lockdown

Cuomo and de Blasio Church Lockdown Orders Knocked Down by Federal Judge

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 26 June 2020 05:06 PM

An order by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to limit the size of church services has been struck down by a federal judge. 

The preliminary injunction pointed out that Cuomo and de Blasio undercut their claim that lockdown orders were "generally applicable" by encouraging large protests against police brutality while discouraging large church gatherings.

"The State argues, in overly-simplistic fashion, that the challenged laws only incidentally impose a burden on religious exercise, and they are neutral and generally applicable, and therefore, only rational basis need be shown, which is self-evident: preventing the spread of COVID-19," District Judge Gary Sharpe wrote. "The State was silent with respect to the mass race protests."

The ruling followed a suit filed by upstate New York Catholic churches and Orthodox synagogues that alleged Cuomo violated their First Amendment rights with his executive orders.

Earlier this month, de Blasio said that allowing protests and allowing religious services "were not the same question." Sharpe said that comment showed de Blasio couldn't make a "legitimate" claim that he isn't biased against people of faith.

"Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules," Sharpe wrote. "They could have also been silent. But by acting as they did, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment."

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An order by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to limit the size of church services has been struck down by a federal judge...
cuomo, deblasio, chuch, lockdown
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2020-06-26
Friday, 26 June 2020 05:06 PM
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