• Supremes Confirm First Amendment Still Matters … Even During Coronavirus

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    Surge Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court took a stand for religious liberty last week, ruling by a slim majority that freedom of religion doesn’t go away just because of health pandemic concerns. The High Court specifically issued an injunction against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order which restricted religious gatherings while allowing greater latitude to other, more secular establishments.  

    by Gary Bauer

    As COVID restrictions get more onerous, houses of worship have borne the brunt of some of the worst decisions by state and local politicians.  Abortion clinics and marijuana dispensaries were declared “essential,” while churches and synagogues were closed in spite of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.

    Many conservatives were disappointed this summer when the Supreme Court refused to intervene in a Nevada lawsuit that argued churches were being held to a different standard than casinos.

    I am pleased to report that the Supreme Court did intervene late last week in a case challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shutdown of churches and synagogues. In a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court issued an injunction against Cuomo’s order. Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch declared:

    “It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques.”

    And what a difference one justice makes.  We lost the Nevada case on a 5 to 4 ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts.  This time, we prevailed with Justice Amy Coney Barrett defending religious liberty instead of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg restricting it.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Originally posted here.

    Image: Adapted from: Joe Ravi, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16959908

    Gary Lee Bauer is an American politician and activist, who served in the Reagan administration. He later became president of the Family Research Council and a senior vice president of Focus on the Family. In 2000, he participated in the Republican presidential contest.

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