Wednesday, February 10, 2021

New York COVID-19 Restrictions On Houses of Worship Enjoined

In a case on remand from the 2nd Circuit, a New York federal district court (without opposition from the state) has issued an injunction against New York state's COVID-19 restrictions on houses of worship.  The court in Agudath Israel of America v. Cuomo, (ED NY, Feb. 9, 2021) said in part:

In light of the decisions by the Supreme Court, Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y. v. Cuomo ... and the Second Circuit, Agudath Israel of Am. v. Cuomo ..., specifically finding that “both the fixed capacity and percentage capacity limits on houses of worship” in  the red and orange zones “are subject to strict scrutiny,” ... Defendant has agreed to an injunction against enforcement of the 25% and 33% capacity limits in red and orange zones, respectively.... Subsequently, Defendant’s counsel has represented in status conferences that before the end of February 2021 EO 202.68 will be amended to remove houses of worship.

For the foregoing reasons, the court grants a permanent injunction against enforcement of EO 202.68’s 25% capacity or maximum of 10-people, and 33% capacity or maximum of 25-people limitations on houses of worship, respectively in red and orange zones.

Becket issued a press release announcing the decision.