President Donald Trump on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court’s ruling that blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from restricting gatherings in houses of worship
Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh ruled that his order violated the First Amendment.
Cuomo added that “the lawsuit was about the Brooklyn zone. The Brooklyn zone no longer exists as a red zone. That’s muted. So that restriction is no longer in effect. That situation just doesn’t exist because those restrictions are gone.”
The Democratic governor didn’t issue a comment on the court’s ruling that his order was unconstitutional.
The five justices said they won’t tolerate violations of the Constitution’s First Amendment regarding freedom of religion.
“Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten,” the judges said. “The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.”
They added: “There can be no question that the challenged restrictions, if enforced, will cause irreparable harm. ... If only 10 people are admitted to each service, the great majority of those who wish to attend Mass on Sunday or services in a synagogue on Shabbat will be barred.”
Other Republicans hailed the Supreme Court decision.
“Power-hungry Democrats like Cuomo have used the pandemic as an excuse to target people of faith with radical restrictions. It has no basis in science, and the Supreme Court agrees,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “This is a win for religious liberty, and a reason to be thankful today!”