SCOTUS votes 5-4 against Cuomo restrictions to houses of worship, ACB a decisive vote - Flash News
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SCOTUS votes 5-4 against Cuomo restrictions to houses of worship, ACB a decisive vote

With Justice Roberts voting alongside the 3 liberal justices, New Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett played a decisive role in backing a religious challenge to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s shutdown order.

In the case brought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America a 5-4 majority including Amy Coney Barrett voted against “the Governor’s severe restrictions on the applicants’ religious services.”

From the majority opinion:

Respondent is enjoined from enforcing Executive Order 202.68’s 10- and 25-person occupancy limits on applicant pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is timely sought.

The applicants have clearly established their entitlement to relief pending appellate review. They have shown that their First Amendment claims are likely to prevail, that denying them relief would lead to irreparable injury, and that granting relief would not harm the public interest.

From the dissenting opinion (Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, Roberts)

Numerical capacity limits of 10 and 25 people, depending on the applicable zone, do seem unduly restrictive. And it may well be that such restrictions violate the Free Exercise Clause. It is not necessary, however, for us to rule on that serious and difficult question at this time. The Governor might reinstate the restrictions. But he also might not. And it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic.