A new conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court voted against a 4-4 restriction on religious services in New York, introduced by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to limit the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the state.
In a Thursday morning teleconference, Cuomo told reporters that the decision was the way for the new Supreme Court to “express its politics and philosophy.” The decision was praised by many leaders and conservatives.
“I think the Supreme Court’s decision on religious gatherings is a better illustration of the Supreme Court than anything else,” Cuomo said after the decision. “It doesn’t matter in terms of practical impact because the zone they were talking about has already been relocated, expired last week. I think it was just an opportunity for the Court to express its philosophy and policy. It has no practical impact.”
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn welcomed the decision after the court stood next to the diocese and two Orthodox Jewish synagogues.
“I am grateful for the decision of a U.S. Supreme Court judge who recognized the clear violation of the First Amendment and the urgent need for the case,” Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, said in a statement.
“From the beginning, I said that the restrictions imposed by Governor Cuomo were excessive, taking into account neither the size of our churches nor the security protocols that kept parishioners safe,” he continued, adding, “Our churches are not yet the cause of epidemics. So far, we have taken our legal battle because we need to consider us essential, because what could be more important than praying safely during a pandemic. “
U.S. Agudath Israel reflected this feeling and stated in a solemn post on their website that the decision “will have a nationwide legal impact on the state of religious freedom in the coming years.”
“This is a historic victory,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel. “This decisive decision ensures that religious practices and religious institutions are protected by government regulations that do not treat religion with the respect required by the United States. Constitution.”
Following the decision, as the first finalist for newly appointed Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, others quickly entered the social media to share their reactions, either with great respect for the decision – and contempt of Chief Justice John Roberts ’dissent – or condemned the court by health experts and public health. due to perceived disregard.
A number of conservative politicians, including Steve Scalise’s home minority whip and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, celebrated the decision on Twitter. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Boris Epshteyn, campaign adviser Trump, and the president’s fiercest supporters, including U.S. Conservative Union President Matt Schlapp, shared that the decision could be traced back to President Donald Trump’s more conservative SCOTUS appointments.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted that the Supreme Court’s ruling was a “significant victory” for religious Americans and that Cuomo and other Democrat-elected officials were “acting as totalitarian,” accusing the COVID-19 epidemic of being used as a means of repression. the right of people to worship. He also criticized Roberts’ decision to stand by the three liberal judiciaries in disagreements.
“Once again, Chief Justice Roberts is willing to set aside the obligation to enforce the Constitution when state or local leaders are hostile to religion under the guise of public health,” the Republican senator tweeted. “But fortunately this time he and the liberal judges lost.”
He added: “As families celebrate #Thanks today, they can also thank them for gathering to pray at Christmas this year without fear of totalitarian Democrats who want to prevent us from exercising our fundamental right to worship.”
Josh Hawley, a senator from the Missouri state government, also celebrated the decision, echoing Cruz Democrat accusations of religious discrimination.
“Great news from the Supreme Court last night – the court will destroy the NY Gov. Cuomo’s discrimination against churches and synagogues,” Hawley tweeted on Thursday. – Barrett Justice is the key to the majority.
California representative Kevin McCarthy criticized the Cuomo for his response to the epidemic and doubted the science behind the restrictions.
“Power-hungry Democrats like the Cuomo have used the pandemic as an excuse to target believers with radical restrictions,” he tweeted. “There is no basis in science, and the Supreme Court agrees.”
Florida MP Anthony Sabatini thanked Trump for “rescuing the Supreme Court” following Barrett’s appointment and appointing former Republican President George W. Bush as “liberal” Chief Justice Roberts.
Meanwhile, several public health officials and others spoke out against the decision. Sherrilyn Ifill, president and board of the NAACP Legal Protection Fund, celebrated the four judges who voted against unsafe gatherings during a pandemic.
“What a really scary decision,” Ifill tweeted. “In this case, Sotomayor is a fair disagreement, as in the prison case, & Justices Ginsburg and Kagan in the COVID voting cases will be the written record of whether a SCOTUS 4 judge has valiantly tried to save the nation from this pandemic.”
Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital’s Vaccine Development Center, told CNN Boris Sanchez on Thursday that the decision “devalues lives.”
“It’s not about our religious freedom or civil liberties,” Hotez said. “It’s about all the people on board going to life until we all vaccinated. Human life is not cheap. The Supreme Court ruling devalues lives.”
Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the decision a “bad logic” product, noting that it was a “very bad omen” for President-elect Joe Biden’s policies, particularly environmental policy.
“The first major decision of the Trump-filled court – and of course it will kill people,” Krugman tweeted. “The bad logic is obvious. Suppose I insist on a religion whose rites include the introduction of neurotoxins into public reservoirs. Does the principle of religious freedom give it the right to do so?”
He added: “Freedom of belief, yes; the right to hurt other people in a tangible way – which the great gatherings of the pandemic will do anyway – no.”