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Supreme Court supports churches fighting closures

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/15/20, 05:10 pm

Federal courts in Colorado and New Jersey must reexamine whether state restrictions on indoor religious services violate the U.S. Constitution. After overturning New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s total ban on indoor services, the Supreme Court on Tuesday in two unsigned orders tossed the lower courts’ decisions upholding Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s health orders and told them to reconsider.

Who brought the cases? High Plains Harvest church in Ault, Colo., sued Polis after his COVID-19 order limited their services to 10 people in April. The state told the justices that it has since lifted all capacity limits on churches in response to the New York ruling. In New Jersey, a Catholic priest and a Jewish rabbi banded together to challenge Murphy’s limits on indoor attendance. Neither state’s health orders are as restrictive as New York’s.

Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about California churches’ successful challenge to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s indoor worship ban.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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