A Victory for Religious Freedom

CAL THOMAS COMMENTARY NOVEMBER  27, 2020

         IN A 5-4 RULING JUST BEFORE THANKSGIVING, THE SUPREME COURT BLOCKED NEW YORK FROM IMPOSING STRICT LIMITS ON ATTENDANCE AT RELIGIOUS SERVICES. NEW JUSTICE AMY CONEY BARRETT CAST THE DECIDING VOTE. CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS SIDED WITH THREE LIBERAL JUDGES IN DISSENT. NOT SURPRISING.

         THE OPINION ALLOWS FOR LITIGATION ON THE MATTER TO CONTINUE, BUT THE KEY IN WHAT THE COURT SAID WAS THIS: THE COURT FOUND IT TROUBLING THAT BUSINESSES THE STATE CONSIDERED “ESSENTIAL” WERE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME OCCUPANCY LIMITS. THOSE INCLUDED “THINGS SUCH AS ACCUPUNCTURE FACILITIES, CAMPGROUNDS, GARAGES, AS WELL AS MANY WHOSE SERVICES ARE NOT LIMITED TO THOSE THAT CAN BE REGARDED AS ESSENTIAL, SUCH AS PLANTS MANUFACTURING CHEMICALS AND MICROELECTRONICS AND ALL TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES.

         THE MAJORITY OPINION SAID, “MEMBERS OF THE COURT ARE NOT PUBLIC HEALTH EXPRTS, AND WE SHOULD RESPECT THE JUDGMENT OF THOSE WITH SPECIAL EXPERTISE AND RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS AREA.” BUT NEW YORK RESTRICTIONS “STRIKE AT THE VERY HEART OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT’S GUARANTEE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.”

         EXACTLY. PRAISE THE LORD! I’M CAL THOMAS.

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Cal Thomas

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