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BREAKING: Federal Court Blocks Governor Cuomo’s Restrictions on Churches

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December 28, 2020 | 4:15 PM ET

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit blocked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 restrictions on religious gatherings.

On November 25, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case, Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, holding that New York may not enforce 10- or 25-person congregation-size limits on certain Catholic churches and Orthodox synagogues, pending further litigation, because the restrictions likely discriminated against religion in violation of the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court temporarily blocked Cuomo from enforcing the restrictions but sent the case back down to the 2nd Circuit for further review.

Today, the 2nd Circuit held that Cuomo COVID restrictions were unconstitutional.

The court wrote that the governor’s COVID order is “…not neutral on its face and imposes greater restrictions on religious activities than on other activities the Governor considers “essential.”

The circuit court concluded Cuomo failed to justify why harsher restrictions were needed on religious activities than on secular ones. The 2nd Circuit ordered a lower court to block Cuomo from enforcing his order while a final resolution is reached in the case.

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