Judge blocks North Carolina worship limits
by Kent Covington
Posted 5/18/20, 10:52 am
Some North Carolina churches met in their buildings for the first time in weeks on Sunday. A federal judge on Saturday blocked Gov. Roy Cooper’s order limiting indoor religious services to 10 people during the coronavirus pandemic. The Democratic governor disagrees with the ruling but will not appeal, a spokesman said.
What was the reasoning? U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III said there is “no pandemic exception” to the U.S. Constitution and noted that the order places tighter restrictions on churches than on other gatherings. North Carolina now limits businesses to 50 percent capacity. It also allows funerals with up to 50 attendees. The judge said the governor “appears to trust citizens to perform non-religious activities indoors (such as shopping or working or selling merchandise) but does not trust them to do the same when they worship indoors together.”
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about how churches are pushing states to give them similar freedoms to businesses during the pandemic.
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