The US Supreme Court flexed its muscles when it blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from reimposing strict attendance caps at worship services in areas on Wednesday night.
“Cuomo’s initiative had created color-coded limits on mass gatherings and business operations, in an effort to stem the outbreak in New York City areas that were experiencing a surge in cases,” according to Bloomberg News.
Justice Neil Gorsuch said that Cuomo had treated religious activities less favorably than nonreligious ones, according to the New York Times. Neil added:
“It is time — pastime — 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 shut churches, synagogues, and mosques,”
“So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians,” he continued, according to a tweet from The Economist correspondent Steven Mazie. “Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”
BREAKING: Supreme Court votes 5-4 to grant Catholic Diocese and orthodox Jews' request to block Gov. Cuomo's attendance limits at houses of worship in New York.
Chief Justice Roberts joins the three liberal justices in dissent.
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) November 26, 2020
Chief Justice John Roberts explained why the court’s liberals opposed the decision.
“Numerical capacity limits of 10 and 25 people, depending on the applicable zone, do seem unduly restrictive,” Roberts wrote, according to the Times. “It is not necessary, however, for us to rule on that serious and difficult question at this time.”
“The governor might reinstate the restrictions,” he continued. “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. If the governor does reinstate the numerical restrictions the applicants can return to this court, and we could act quickly on their renewed applications.”
New Yorkers Didn’t Take Kindly to the Cuomo Initiative
A video has surfaced on the video-sharing app TikTok, which shows a group of young residents at a table chanting “F**k you, Cuomo,” as reported by Newsweek. The video has more than 389,000 views and 69,300 likes. It is captioned “How New York really feels about closing at 10:00 p.m.”