Cuomo: Supreme Court decision "irrelevant" because houses of worship in lawsuit no longer in restricted zones

by Jordyn Pair · Nov 27th, 2020 10:02 am
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Last Updated Nov 30th, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday that the Supreme Court's recent order blocking New York from restricting capacity at houses of worship is "irrelevant" and "moot."

In a 5-4 ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court said that New York can not block houses of worship from gathering, siding with the Roman Catholic diocese and Orthodox Jewish synagogues that had sued Cuomo.

In a Thursday conference call with reporters, Cuomo said the ruling was meaningless since the houses of worship were no longer in a red or orange zone, meaning that restriction order no longer applied to them.

"It's irrelevant of any practical impact because of the zone they were talking about is moot. It expired last week," the governor said, adding, "It doesn't have any practical effect."

The restriction put into place originally placed caps on the number of attendees allowed at religious services. The plaintiffs argued that the restriction was unfairly targeting them since businesses deemed essential, including takeout restaurants, were still allowed to operate.

"The lawsuit was about the Brooklyn zone. The Brooklyn zone no longer exists as a red zone," Cumo said. "That's mooted. So that restriction is no longer in effect. That situation just doesn't exist because those restrictions are gone."

The governor also said that the ruling was "more illustrative of the Supreme Court than anything else," pointing to the recent of addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who swings the court conservative.

Beth Garvey, Cuomo's legal adviser, said houses of worship will now see a less restrictive 50% capacity attendance cap.


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