A high court in New York ruled again that Governor Mario Cuomo cannot institute restrictions on religious institutions that are more severe restrictions than other entities, such as grocery stores, gyms, bars, and casinos.
Last year, Cuomo instituted a “Cluster Action Initiative” that limited worship gatherings to no more than 10 people or 25 percent of a building’s capacity in so-called red zones. The limits were 25 people and 33 percent in “orange” zones.
A lower court initially ruled in favor of Cuomo in a case brought by the Catholic diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish organization, but the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this last Tuesday.
“It’s a simple question of equality of treatment. The Supreme Court is not persuaded in Brooklyn Diocese by all these arguments that somehow churches are more dangerous than factories and supermarkets and big-box stores, and liquor stores because well, they’re sitting close together,” Attorney Christopher Ferrara told The Epoch Times.
This case seems to be setting off a wave of court decisions protecting religious freedom. The Supreme Court instructed Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and other state officials to respond to a petition by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley against worship restrictions that allow the state’s casinos to operate unimpeded while imposing severe limits on worship.
At the same time, the US Supreme Court cited the decision in New York to demand that California Governor Gavin Newsom respond to a lawsuit filed by churches in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.