Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Church Sues Over Massachusetts COVID Regulations

Suit was filed yesterday in a Massachusetts federal district court by a church challenging the state's COVID-19 reopening regulations. The complaint (full text) in New Life South Coast Church v. Baker, (D MA, filed 5/10/2021), alleges in part:

Massachusetts’ phased COVID-19 reopening regulations, both as drafted by the Commonwealth and as implemented by the City, single out places of worship for differential and disfavored treatment. Under those regulations, restaurants, theaters, public transit, and other places of public gathering have limited or no restrictions on capacity, beyond the practical constraints of social distancing, while places of worship must follow more burdensome capacity restrictions. In addition, the regulations single out places of worship for special disfavor by barring “communal gatherings” before and after the religious service—a restriction that applies to no other institution or activity, and that purports to regulate how Massachusetts citizens may exercise religion.

First Liberty issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.