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Friday, 22 January 2021

U.S. Supreme Court backs religious groups in NY

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U.S. Supreme Court backs religious groups in NY
U.S. Supreme Court backs religious groups in NY

The U.S. Supreme Court late on Wednesday (November 25) backed Christian and Jewish houses of worship challenging New York state's latest restrictions in novel coronavirus hot spots.

Bryan Wood reports.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with Christian and Jewish houses of worship ruling against New York state's latest restrictions to ban 'non-essential' religious gathering.

The 5-4 decision was the first consequential action involving conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast a vote in favor of the religious groups, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish Congregations.

The latest decision reflects Justice Amy Coney Barrett's impact on a now conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, it had turned away similar requests by churches in Nevada and California with a 5-4 majority decision leaning liberal prior to the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

In early October, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo closed non-essential businesses in areas where infections had spiked, like in parts of Brooklyn and limited religious gatherings to 10 or 25 people depending on the number of cases.

The houses of worship say the restrictions violated religious freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court's three liberals.

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