Law & Order

Federal Judge Rules Andrew Cuomo, Bill De Blasio Violated Religious Freedom

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U. S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe handed down a preliminary injunction on Friday against New York officials for violating the First Amendment by shutting down religious services while encouraging Black Lives Matter protests.

Earlier this month, two Catholic priests and three Orthodox Jews came together in a lawsuit against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, alleging that Democrats were violating their religious liberty under the First Amendment (and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment) by discouraging religious gatherings while joining large crowds of protesters in the streets.

On Friday, a federal judge agreed. While praising the officials for their leadership in fighting the coronavirus, he ruled that they had violated the rights of the plaintiffs in their restrictions on religious services:

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion t… (Read more)

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