Patterico's Pontifications

11/26/2020

Supreme Court Strikes Down Cuomo’s Limits on Religious Services

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:12 pm



[guest post by JVW]

The Supreme Court, by a 5-4 ruling, yesterday placed an injunction upon New York State and the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ability to enforce the limitations on religious gatherings that they had imposed in response to coronavirus outbreaks over the past several months.

The opinion is located here. As a Cliff’s Notes version, here are some snippets starting with the Per Curiam order of the Court (which was either written by Justice Thomas, Alito, or Barrett; my money is on Alito):

Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID–19 but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services. Among other things, the maximum attendance at a religious service could be tied to the size of the church or synagogue. Almost all of the 26 Diocese churches immediately affected by the Executive Order can seat at least 500 people, about 14 can accommodate at least 700, and 2 can seat over 1,000. Similarly, Agudath Israel of Kew Garden Hills can seat up to 400. It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000–seat church or 400–seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows.

[. . .]

Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. Before allowing this to occur, we have a duty to conduct a serious examination of the need for such a drastic measure.

Concurrence from Justice Gorsuch:

As almost everyone on the Court today recognizes, squaring the Governor’s edicts with our traditional First Amendment rules is no easy task. People may gather inside for extended periods in bus stations and airports, in laundromats and banks, in hardware stores and liquor shops. No apparent reason exists why people may not gather, subject to identical restrictions, in churches or synagogues, especially when religious institutions have made plain that they stand ready, able, and willing to follow all the safety precautions required of “essential” businesses and perhaps more besides. The only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as “essential” as what happens in secular spaces. Indeed, the Governor is remarkably frank about this: In his judgment laundry and liquor, travel and tools, are all “essential” while traditional religious exercises are not. That is exactly the kind of discrimination the First Amendment forbids.

Justice Kavanaugh, also concurring:

In light of the devastating pandemic, I do not doubt the State’s authority to impose tailored restrictions—even very strict restrictions—on attendance at religious services and secular gatherings alike. But the New York restrictions on houses of worship are not tailored to the circumstances given the First Amendment interests at stake. To reiterate, New York’s restrictions on houses of worship are much more severe than the California and Nevada restrictions at issue in South Bay and Calvary, and much more severe than the restrictions that most other States are imposing on attendance at religious services. And New York’s restrictions discriminate against religion by treating houses of worship significantly worse than some secular businesses.

Chief Justice Roberts, who joined the liberal bloc in voting against the injunction, attempted to strike a fine balance between the sides. While conceding that the governor’s orders “do seem unduly restrictive,” the Chief tried to punt the issue on the basis that New York had since moved the area affecting the plaintiffs into a less-restrictive zone:

It is not necessary, however, for us to rule on that serious and difficult question [of whether the restrictions run afoul of the Constitution] at this time. The Governor might reinstate the restrictions. But he also might not. And it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic. If the Governor does reinstate the numerical restrictions the applicants can return to this Court, and we could act quickly on their renewed applications. As things now stand, however, the applicants have not demonstrated their entitlement to “the extraordinary remedy of injunction.”

The Court’s three remaining leftish bloc, Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, agreed with the Chief that there is no need to decide upon Constitutional issues unless the plaintiffs were once again placed into the most restrictive zones. They also don’t believe the Constitutional issue is a clear-cut as the majority or the Chief seems to believe, and ought to be determined first by the Court of Appeals before being taken up by the Court. In the dissent, Justice Breyer writes:

We have previously recognized that courts must grant elected officials “broad” discretion when they “undertake to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties.” That is because the “Constitution principally entrusts the safety and the health of the people to the politically accountable officials of the States.” The elected branches of state and national governments can marshal scientific expertise and craft specific policies in response to “changing facts on the ground.” And they can do so more quickly than can courts. That is particularly true of a court, such as this Court, which does not conduct evidentiary hearings. It is true even more so where, as here, the need for action is immediate, the information likely limited, the making of exceptions difficult, and the disease-related circumstances rapidly changing. [The quotes above are from the Court’s earlier decision South Bay United Pentacostal Church v. Newsom, and citations have been omitted.]

It’s notable that Justice Amy Coney Barrett likely provided the decisive vote for the majority, unless we choose to believe that Chief Justice Roberts would have suppressed his desire to defer the decision for another day had Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lived (and presumably voted with the left bloc). As we start to swing into Advent and Hanukkah, Christians and Jews not just in New York but nationwide can feel comfortable that the highest Court respects our First Amendment rights against arbitrary and capricious edicts from government.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the blog’s readers and commenters, especially those who suffer through my posts.

– JVW

81 Responses to “Supreme Court Strikes Down Cuomo’s Limits on Religious Services”

  1. I agree with the decision. It is up to everyone’s religious belief to save them from death. It is not the government’s responsibility to protect them from their folly.

    Rip Murdock (8cb7cc)

  2. This is one of those decisions that was correct on the constitutional question, but there was no reason to hear it at this time. Also, quite a bit of the justification, like:

    Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID–19 but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services. Among other things, the maximum attendance at a religious service could be tied to the size of the church or synagogue. Almost all of the 26 Diocese churches immediately affected by the Executive Order can seat at least 500 people, about 14 can accommodate at least 700, and 2 can seat over 1,000. Similarly, Agudath Israel of Kew Garden Hills can seat up to 400. It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000–seat church or 400–seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows.

    Is just factually incorrect, as has been proven by scientific research in other congregant settings over the last year.

    I’d have had more respect if they explained it on a purely constitutional basis and kept Covid out of it, because having conspiracy delusional lies as a justification in a SCOTUS ruling is not good.

    Also:

    Justices of this Court play a deadly game in second-guessing the expert judgment of health officials about the environments in which a contagious virus, now infecting a million Americans each week, spreads most easily.

    Is again, correct in general from a common sense perspective on the specifics of why this case was brought, but the actual question is different and this doesn’t address it.

    Like I said, the correct decision was to not review the case, but with a 5-3 court, that was probably never an option. I’m sure Robert’s was loath to let this hit their docket, but with the “Rule of Four” that wasn’t his decision.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  3. Is just factually incorrect, as has been proven by scientific research in other congregant settings over the last year.

    It’s not at all factually incorrect: there was no proof that services at Agudath Israel or the local Catholic parishes had led to infections. In fact, both had committed to enforcing social distancing and wearing of masks at their services. The cases you cite where the virus has been spread in other congregant settings all include instances where neither mask-wearing nor social distancing is being enforced.

    The Court, in my view, ruled very reasonably here. Provided that the churches are hewing to the same sort of precautions that businesses and other gatherings are required to take, they should not be treated any differently.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  4. I don’t think churches should “hew” to any government regulations. To do so accepts the notion that they can be regulated by government. Under the First Amendment there is no role for government over religion. Churches are sovereign to conduct their activities as thy see fit.

    Rip Murdock (8cb7cc)

  5. Ah, for the good old days, when the Pope could have placed New York State under interdict not to be lifted until Cuomo had walked barefoot through the snow to kneel before him and beg for forgiveness. There really is no good way to deal with priests and rabbis who remember that their predecessors anointed kings.

    BTW, it’s not really Barrett replacing Ginzburg that made the different. It’s Gorsuch replacing Scalia. Scalia believed in stare decisis and followed decisions in which he had dissented a few months previously. (He also knew what “sex” is but that’s a different story.)

    nk (1d9030)

  6. It is up to everyone’s religious belief to save them from death.

    That’s pretty funny; none do.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  7. Sure, for those churches there is no scientific study to cite, for either party. In New York there was also this…and this, etc.

    That’s why this was a terrible case to consider at this time, and it isn’t even final, as Kavanaugh makes clear.

    Importantly, the Court’s orders today are not final decisions on the merits. Instead, the Court simply grants temporary injunctive relief until the Court of Appeals in December, and then this Court as appropriate, can more fully consider the merits.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  8. The Court, in my view, ruled very reasonably here. Provided that the churches are hewing to the same sort of precautions that businesses and other gatherings are required to take, they should not be treated any differently.

    Provided they do the thing that some are obviously not doing, blatantly, recklessly, stupidly, with malice and vile intent.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  9. In the Bluegrass State, Governor Andy Beshear got his hat handed to him on his executive order closing all public and private schools. Federal District Court Judge Gregory van Tatenhove ruled that he could not impose this order on religious private schools; as far as I could see, no secular private schools had joined in the lawsuit.

    Naturally, the Governor immediately appealed to the Sixth Circuit, but much of his argument, according to Judge Tatenhove’s ruling, was based on the Supreme Court denying injunctive relief in ,the Calvary Chapel and South Bay Pentecostal decisions. Now that Roman Catholic Diocese v Cuomo has changed the Court’s policy on injunctive relief, the Sixth Circuit ought to simply dismiss the Governor’s case, but I’d bet that won’t happen.

    Even the Chief Justice hinted that he believed the Diocese would win on the merits if the suit proceeded; he just didn’t see the injunction as necessary.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  10. I think these are tricky issues at play. While in principal it’s easy to say that religious organization should not be treated any different from private business, that’s not what’s happening. Right now it seems NY can declare specific business in violation but not others even if in fact they are no different in actual practice. Why should a gym be shut down, but not knitting club? (I’m making that example up). Assuming that we believe states have the power to put on restriction, it’s not clear to my why the state doesn’t have the power to make these restrictions as they see fit as long as they are NOT explicitly targeting religious organization. There’s a judgement call there especially when the scientific facts are uncertain.

    I don’t disagree with the court’s decision, but I also don’t think it’s quite as obvious as it would seem on firs blush.

    tla (34ebeb)

  11. Mr Murdock wrote:

    I don’t think churches should “hew” to any government regulations. To do so accepts the notion that they can be regulated by government. Under the First Amendment there is no role for government over religion. Churches are sovereign to conduct their activities as thy see fit.

    You would think, but, sadly, that isn’t true. Even ignoring the COVID-19 restrictions, the mandatory wearing of masks, social distancing and the like, in ordinary times churches must meet the same building, zoning and fire codes as any other building, must undergo health inspections if they serve food, must have adequate and sex-segregated restrooms and are subject to things like excessive noise ordinances.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  12. I agree with tla at 10, and also ask: Does the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment allow governors to declare religious establishments essential?

    nk (1d9030)

  13. JVW,

    I for one love your posts. They are a breath of fresh air on a dreary locked down day.

    Justice Gorsuch has the best argument. If you allow politicians to play hide the law every time they abuse the 1st Amendment, then we have no such right. Either the 1st Amendment says what the words clearly say, or it doesn’t exist and we can just declare a perpetual emergency to discriminate against the faithful. His take down of Roberts was especially just.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  14. I agree with NJRob. These are great posts and it’s particularly awesome to get a detailed post about some of the issues on a holiday. I know this kind of thing takes a lot of time and I definitely couldn’t do it.

    I think Gorsuch probably has it right. I also don’t think it’s it’s such an obvious call. Just a tough decision where both sides are more worried about the people they disagree with more than the merits of their point. I thought Roberts’s comment about Gorsuch was tacky before I read Gorsuch’s unprofessional opinion. These folks need to handle that stuff offline.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  15. JVW (ee64e4) — 11/26/2020 @ 4:08 pm

    there was no proof that services at Agudath Israel or the local Catholic parishes had led to infections. In fact, both had committed to enforcing social distancing and wearing of masks at their services. The cases you cite where the virus has been spread in other congregant settings all include instances where neither mask-wearing nor social distancing is being enforced.

    The Court, in my view, ruled very reasonably here. Provided that the churches are hewing to the same sort of precautions that businesses and other gatherings are required to take, they should not be treated any differently.

    There’s the rub. The reason that Cuomo and other made that blanket regulation was not because of the people who sued. It was that they felt they could not trust all churches and synagogues to abide by these regulations, especially masks, and then sometimes there is singing and sometimes there is not, and they didn’t want to pick and choose on whom to impose regulations, or tell them how to conduct their services, nor send police to barge in and check.

    Restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses were in another category. They could theoretically send in police or inspectors and nobody would complain their rights were being violated. There is no clause in the United States constitution protecting bars and gyms.

    Whether any of this actually makes a difference, and how much of a difference it makes is another story. A lot depends on the number of times an hour air is replaced and how close people are to each other. Masks cut the risk, whatever it is, approximately in half.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  16. Under the US Constitution the federal government, governors, mayors, health Departments, or any government entity may not prevent church attendance or family gatherings. It’s in the text of the first amendment of the US Constitution. I’ve bolded all clauses of the first amendment I believe apply.

    Congress Government shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Since the 6th and 14th amendments require that federal to the lowest local government entities follow the US Constitution let’s change the word Congress to the more generic term Government.

    Do you see anything other than “shall make no law“? It’s not there. There’s no government interest clause, pandemic clause, state of emergency clause, or safety clause. At ALL TIMES government which includes governors, mayors, and health departments shall make no law prohibiting your free exercise of religion or abridging any of your rights listed in the first amendment.

    Prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Prohibiting means that they cannot make a law preventing you from exercising your denomination’s form of Christianity.

    Definition of prohibit
    transitive verb
    1 : to forbid by authority : ENJOIN
    2a : to prevent from doing something
    b : PRECLUDE

    This doesn’t prevent them from making laws that do the opposite of prohibit. They can encourage with laws that help the free exercise of your religious denomination like funding Christian ministries. They can allow you to pray at school, but not prohibit you from praying at school.

    They are prohibited from preventing you from singing, hugging, laying hands on each other in prayer, or any other part of your church service.

    That doesn’t prevent the government from asking and the church to voluntarily comply with the request.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  17. People may gather inside for extended periods in bus stations and airports, in laundromats and banks, in hardware stores and liquor shops.

    And don’t forget polling places.

    I heard on TV that a spike had been attributed to Halloween, Saturday October 31. What about Tuesday, November 3? I think that’s more likely. But the CDC felt it could not advise people not to vote, so they said even infected people could go out and vote, and they only should wear a mask, and the only risk anyway was to election day workers.

    Meanwhile, saying people from the same household can be together is not such a great idea. How many times has one person gotten sick and infected the rest of the family?

    No apparent reason exists why people may not gather, subject to identical restrictions, in churches or synagogues, especially when religious institutions have made plain that they stand ready, able, and willing to follow all the safety precautions required of “essential” businesses and perhaps more besides.

    The plaintiffs, probably. But not every religious institution. They actually deliberately made their regulations tougher to account for non compliance. They said so.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  18. It’s interesting to me that the the language against the injunction sounds a lot like the words in Korematsu upholding the internment of Japanese in World War II.

    Behind the Left’s Primal Scream Over the Supreme Court’s Religious Liberty Ruling

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  19. Remember that wonderful argument Obama brought up about how the Constitution only confers “negative rights” and says what the government cannot do, versus his preferred “positive rights” which is what the government should do for your so called benefit.

    Well here we go, chapter and verse.

    See Tanny O’Haley’s post above.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  20. JVW,

    I for one love your posts. They are a breath of fresh air on a dreary locked down day.

    Justice Gorsuch has the best argument. If you allow politicians to play hide the law every time they abuse the 1st Amendment, then we have no such right. Either the 1st Amendment says what the words clearly say, or it doesn’t exist and we can just declare a perpetual emergency to discriminate against the faithful. His take down of Roberts was especially just.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 11/26/2020 @ 6:29 pm

    I agree to both paragraphs.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  21. There’s nothing philosophical about the coronavirus. It’s a disease which exists only, I repeat o-n-l-y, because one person gives it to another and the only, I repeat o-n-ly, question is how do we keep one person from giving to another, somewhere between Trump’s criminal indifference, Trump supporters’ deranged denial, and panicked politicians’ hapless over-reaction?

    nk (1d9030)

  22. When the first amendment was originally proposed they used the phrase “religious denomination”, but later changed it to “religion”. The original wording makes sense because in England to be a Christian you had to be a member of the Anglican church. If you were a Baptist or any other denomination you could be fined, jailed, limited to meetings of no more than 5 people, and could not hold public office (ever wonder why the no religious test is in the Constitution). The author of Pilgrims Progress changed from Anglican to Baptist. When found in a meeting of more than 5 people, he was jailed. After 2 years he was told he would be set free if he renounced the Baptist denomination and returned to the Anglican denomination. He refused and spent another 10 years in jail.

    I haven’t been able to find out why they made the change from religious denomination to religion. Does anyone know why they changed the wording from religious denomination to religion? Links?

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  23. There’s nothing philosophical about the coronavirus. It’s a disease which exists only, I repeat o-n-l-y, because one person gives it to another and the only, I repeat o-n-ly, question is how do we keep one person from giving to another, somewhere between Trump’s criminal indifference, Trump supporters’ deranged denial, and panicked politicians’ hapless over-reaction?

    nk (1d9030) — 11/26/2020 @ 8:52 pm

    I don’t deny that COVID-19 is an infectious virus. What does that have to do with the free exercise of religion clause of the first amendment? There is no government interest clause, pandemic clause, state of emergency clause, or safety clause. The government can ask, but not make law against the free exercise of religion. It is up to the church to voluntarily comply. Your opinion true or false has no bearing.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  24. More trump supporters will fill up the hospitals to overwhelm their desperate staff.

    asset (af31e0)

  25. Joseph Story in his 1833 publication of Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States wrote:

    Sec. 1871. The real object of the amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government. It thus cut off the means of religious persecution, (the vice and pest of former ages,) and of the subversion of the rights of conscience in matters of religion, which had been trampled upon almost from the days of the Apostles to the present age.

    Christian sects is the same as Christian denominations. If I am a Pentecostal and believe in speaking in tongues and laying on hands in prayer the government legally cannot stop me. If I’m a Baptist and don’t believe in those things the government cannot force me to do those things. If I believe that my Christian denomination requires me to attend church personally then the government cannot legally prevent me from attending church.

    Hebrews 10:23-25 NKJV
    [23] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. [24] And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, [25] not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Who was Joseph Story?

    Joseph Story (September 18, 1779 – September 10, 1845) was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1812 to 1845.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  26. More trump supporters will fill up the hospitals to overwhelm their desperate staff.

    asset (af31e0) — 11/26/2020 @ 9:19 pm

    Which has absolutely nothing to do with changing the plain meaning of first amendment of the United States.

    Not all supporters of President Trump believe that COVID-19 is a conspiracy theory. I am one of those. You might want to take your bigotry and gently place it where the sun doesn’t shine.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  27. If I am a Pentecostal and believe in speaking in tongues and laying on hands in prayer the government legally cannot stop me.

    Actually, they can and they have. Like when the south dropped the ban hammer on snake handling in the 1930’s and 40’s. The courts have been allowed it over and over again, normally citing the SCOTUS in Davis v. Beason (1890), Reynolds v. United States (1879), and Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940), between the regulation of religious belief and action.

    It’s far, far, far from the only instance.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  28. That may be how the Supreme Court ruled, but it is opposite to the plain reading of the first amendment. The supreme court has been wrong in the past, just look at Korematsu or Dred Scott. It is my understanding that the Supreme Court has never changed those two rulings. Do you believe the decision in Wickard v. Filburn is just and follows the US Constitution? Or that contemporary academics and the left thought that the reasoning behind Roe v. Wade is invisible?

    “It is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be … What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure.”

    — Liberal American legal scholar John Hart Ely

    “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”

    — Liberal Harvard professor Laurence Tribe

    “Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify…”

    — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible.”

    — Edward Lazarus; Former clerk to Harry Blackmun.

    “Blackmun’s [Supreme Court] papers vindicate every indictment of Roe: invention, overreach, arbitrariness, textual indifference.”

    — William Saletan — Slate columnist who left the GOP 2004 because it was too pro-life.

    Because of Stare Decisis Roe is considered to be law when it is nowhere to be found in the US Constitution.

    Use of Stare Decisis by the Supreme Court is a lazy way to determine the constitutionality of a law. I understand that lower courts should use Stare Decisis, but the Supreme Court justices gave an oath to uphold the US Constitution not Stare Decisis.

    “I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

    Stare Decisis is a judicial opinion not law, not the Constitution.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  29. Cool story bro, now, about the actual law of the land in the United States of America, the relevant point is…

    That may be how the Supreme Court ruled, but it is opposite to the plain reading of the first amendment. The supreme court has been wrong in the past, just look at Korematsu or Dred Scott.

    Let me know when they change that.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  30. Somewhere between now and the next millennium.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  31. Interesting that there doesn’t seem to be any reference to cost. “Churches” don’t pay taxes. While “laundry, liquor, travel and tools” do to support public health system services. If an outbreak is traced to a church/synagogue/mosque etc., religious gathering, why should NY State taxpayers pay for it; bill the Vatican. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  32. Given the fairly expansive definition of what constitutes a religion:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT3NRkllI3E&feature=emb_logo

    I am not clear why you’d want religions to get special exemptions during a pandemic. In person church services, in enclosed spaces lasting some period of time, usually with singing and speaking, are just epidemically different from shopping in a hardware store.

    But I guess now we have a Supreme Court happy to make its own decisions regarding health and safety, so long as the cloak of religion is draped over the topic. Sort of Latter Day Lochners.

    Victor (4959fb)

  33. 28.

    … What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution,

    It is inferrable from the 9th amendment, which the Roe court didn’t use because they were afraid of the precedent for new rights that that would create. It is inferrable provided you actually think abortion is a natural right.

    The Supreme Court is more than entitled to reverse Roe on grounds that a fraud was pulled on the court in order to get that ruling, in that it was argued that there was no moral or ethical opposition to abortion anywhere until after anti-abortion laws started to be passed in the 1860s, and that that was done because of lobbying by the medical profession for economic reasons, and that even the Catholic Church did not oppose abortion until the 1870s or so.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  34. Some people are reminded of Korematsu. I am reminded of Buck v. Bell :: 274 U.S. 200 (1927) which, after all, was also a medical case that relied on (largely self appointed – this was the first generation) health experts.

    https://www.oyez.org/cases/1900-1940/274us200

    The point is, you can’t rely on what medical experts say to be factual.

    You especially cannot if they are not allowed to be disputed and argued over, and if you don;t hear lots of different points of view – about something.

    And in the case of the coronavirus anyone can see that they are wrong in many ways (like the cleaning, or the 14 day long quarantine, and prioritizing of school closings) and that the specific nonpharmacological interventions that are chosen are arbitrary, and have a strong taste or preference element to them.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  35. Seek to practice religion in a reasonable manner during a pandemic? Govt will come down on you.

    Force nursing homes to accept infected patients, resulting in the deaths of thousands? Win an Emmy.
    _

    harkin (8fadc8)

  36. Note: School closings isn’t coming from the health experts like the CDC or the WHO. They never got behind that.

    The Wall street Journal editorial page quoted Justice Gorsuch favorably as saying:

    Even if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical.

    He distinguishes it also from the leading precedent Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11 (1905) that authorized compulsory smallpox vaccination. (with the alternatives of paying a $5 fine (equal to abot $140 in 2020) or getting a medical exemption) and says this goes beyond Jacobson v. Massachusetts,

    Jacobson v. Massachusetts, did indeed rest on rational basis. And it had opt outs. And . Jacobson didn’t even claim a generally recognized right (he claimed bodily integrity – sounds like the Roe court could have used that)

    Gorsuch:

    Why have some mistaken this Court’s modest decision in Jacobson for a towering authority that overshadows the Constitution during a pandemic? In the end, I can only surmise that much of the answer lies in a particular judicial impulse to stay out of the way in times of crisis. But if that impulse may be understandable or even admirable in other circumstances, we may not shelter in place when the Constitution is under attack. Things never go well when we do.

    Why have some mistaken this Court’s modest decision in Jacobson for a towering authority?

    A. Because precedents have a tendency to grow.

    The court decided this case this way because they didn’t believe the medical experts, or because they believed these decrees were not based on medical expertise, but were, at best, some sort of a compromise.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  37. 35. harkin (8fadc8) — 11/27/2020 @ 6:41 am

    Force nursing homes to accept infected patients, resulting in the deaths of thousands? Win an Emmy.

    The original sin was even more basic than that. The root cause was forbidding residents of nursing homes to get visitors.

    Tings never go well when that happens. And that should have been obvious. It doesn’t work for prisons or detention centers, either.

    Or https://timeline.com/willowbrook-the-institution-that-shocked-a-nation-into-changing-its-laws-c847acb44e0d?gi=c8ef004c4478

    Any place where people are isolated.
    The rule was rescinded only after the New York Post published a front page story about it

    But it shouldn’t be said this only happened in New York.
    _

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  38. To ensure that nursing homes didn’t use some excuse not to accept a discharged, but still infectiotous, patients, they were forbidden from testing them in advance. They were not sent to the Comfort, because, Goernor Cuomo said, that was not part of te agreement wth the federal government, although they changed the agreement when they saw there were few patients going there.

    I think the object was to save money for New York State.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  39. “Christians and Jews can feel comfortable,” sure. Jury’s still out for Muslims and them other weirdo religions.

    Leviticus (0003b5)

  40. I hope the folks saying the first amendment is truly literally absolute didn’t support a presidential candidate who called for a Muslim ban. Cause that would be kinda silly.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  41. I don’t care what any court rules. Nothing and nobody can prevent me from walking the Stations of the Cross at the National Shrine in San Juan. It’s more meditative than it is religious, but I carry my Rossary and pray before each Station. Then I give confession and accept communion.

    It’s simple. I walk the path, pray before each Station, say the Hail Mary at each one, then go into the Church. I seldom attend Mass, but I follow the Sacraments.

    That’s my thing, following the Sacraments. I profess that Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. I walk the Stations of the Cross in his honor. I confess my sins and take communion. That’s it.

    I don’t go to mass anymore, because the last time I went the priest asked the congregation to offer up a prayer for Allah, proclaiming we all worship the same God. No we don’t. Our God is triune, not mono.

    I stopped going to mass after that. But I still go to the Shrine, walk the Stations of the Cross, and pray at each one. That’s how I practice my religion.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  42. The law is not Socrates sitting under a stoa gaslighting Plato. It’s a practical tool for the peaceful function of society.

    So the real balancing test, as far as I’m concerned, is not a Constitutional right versus a compelling governmental interest.

    No, no, no!

    The real test is the potential for religious services to be superspreader events versus would you trust New York sewer rats, Andrew Cuomo and Bill DeBlasio I mean, as far as you could throw them?

    nk (1d9030)

  43. Interesting that there doesn’t seem to be any reference to cost. “Churches” don’t pay taxes. While “laundry, liquor, travel and tools” do to support public health system services. If an outbreak is traced to a church/synagogue/mosque etc., religious gathering, why should NY State taxpayers pay for it; bill the Vatican. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 11/27/2020 @ 12:41 am

    Churches have always been considered a benefit to the public.

    “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    — John Adams

    When John Adams used the word religion it was specifically in reference to Christianity. You can see that in his letters and many writings. Even Ben Franklin agreed in the importance of Christianity to the peaceful running of society.

    The federal government didn’t collect income tax continuously until the 16th amendment in 1913. The problem isn’t who “pays“, but that the federal government has grown too expansive in its reach than had ever been intended. Article 1 section 8 of the constitution gives and an enumerated list of the powers of the federal government. That limits what the federal government “can“ do. You will not find “public health system services” in that list because those types of services are not the responsibility of federal government, but of the states and local government.

    There are a number of things that the federal government is doing that is beyond their enumerated powers. A lot of their expansion has to do with their redefinition of the commerce clause.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  44. If only the SCOTUS had been able to stop Gov. Cuomo from sending tens of thousands of NY elderly to their death at nursing homes…

    Hoi Polloi (3bc019)

  45. If local governments are allowed to play hide-the-statute whenever a case arrives at the court, only to reintroduce the same law when the court declares the case moot, the whole idea of judicial review collapses. That four justices signed on to that is intellectual dishonesty of the worst sort.

    Even if you say “Oh, well, they can prohibit the reintroduction of the statute”, they STILL have to decide if the statue can be enjoined. If they have to do that the case is not moot.

    Imagine if the Board of Education in Topeka had voted to “begin a process of integration” back in 1954, only to recant after the case was declared moot.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. I hope the folks saying the first amendment is truly literally absolute

    It isn’t, of course. The speech, press, and assembly rights are limited in several ways, as is religion. Pretty sure human sacrifice isn’t OK. Female genital mutilation is banned most places. Etc.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  47. Gorsuch’s argument as quoted above is concise and scathing. The impermissible core of the issue:

    The only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as “essential” as what happens in secular spaces.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    — John Adams

    But the delegates at the Constitution Convention went ahead and adopted it anyway, and that’s why we’re having all the problems we’re having?

    nk (1d9030)

  49. Tougher case: The current list of essential businesses here in New Mexico includes liquor stores and “medical” marijuana shops, but not gun stores. Does this infringe on the 2nd Amendment?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  50. But the delegates at the Constitution Convention went ahead and adopted it anyway, and that’s why we’re having all the problems we’re having?

    No, it’s because the amoral and agnostic have slowly changed our culture. We’ve been slouching towards Trump for some time now.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. the language against the injunction sounds a lot like the words in Korematsu

    Stevens used a decision worse than Korematsu to back his dissent on Heller.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. No, it’s because the amoral and agnostic have slowly changed our culture.

    Not the slavers, genociders , and land-snatchers who signed it?

    nk (1d9030)

  53. It is inferrable from the 9th amendment, which the Roe court didn’t use because they were afraid of the precedent for new rights that that would create. It is inferrable provided you actually think abortion is a natural right.

    Lots of “rights” can be inferred from that if you ignore the laws of the 18th century and just go on with what people actually did. Suicide. Adultery. Theft. Etc. If you require the practice to have been legal in 1787, then no, abortion is not covered under the 9th Amendment any more than gay marriage is.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. Not the slavers, genociders , and land-snatchers who signed it?

    Genociders? I think they came later; relations with numerous Native American tribes were much better in 1787 than later.

    But more directly, yes. The people who wrote that had been around the block and knew what to defend against: themselves.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. Not the slavers, genociders , and land-snatchers who signed it?

    And, in any event, the slavers and genociders are pretty much gone and the land-grabbers have moved to the EPA and CA Coastal Commission.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. A moral and religious people do not need laws. God knew that when He gave The Law to Moses:

    For the LORD had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, `You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.'” — Exodus, 32:9

    nk (1d9030)

  57. @43. The problem isn’t who “pays“…

    Except it is.

    ‘Benefit’ doesn’t pay the bills. They get a free ride in modern society.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. You don’t need to gather in groups to practice your religion. But if you crave company, worshippers can meet and express their faith in a White Plains Costco parking lot– or at outdoor locales– like Stonehenge.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. It isn’t, of course. The speech, press, and assembly rights are limited in several ways, as is religion. Pretty sure human sacrifice isn’t OK. Female genital mutilation is banned most places. Etc.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 11/27/2020 @ 9:54 am

    Of course. To the extent where religion and speech interfere with other rights, maybe very important government interests, and the government tries to control that fairly, in a way that isn’t discriminatory, very few get upset.

    I don’t think New York did a very good job there, in their crisis, which is one way bad law might happen (fortunately not in this case).

    All this party and mask and gathering business tests how far we can go on enforecement in a year where enforcement is particularly hard.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  60. I think the courts would give States latitude to protect the public health, provided the States use the least restrictive method possible. Most restrictions would be evaluated based on whether there was a rational basis for imposing them, an easier standard to meet. Restrictions on religion under the 1st Amendment and guns under the 2nd Amendment would likely trigger strict scrutiny of any government restrictions. That is the highest standard and hardest for government to meet.

    DRJ (aede82)

  61. Dustin wrote:

    I hope the folks saying the first amendment is truly literally absolute didn’t support a presidential candidate who called for a Muslim ban. Cause that would be kinda silly.

    You are ignoring the difference: Mr Trump was excluding more Muslims from coming here, not repressing Islam among people already in the United States.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  62. I think the differences are far more vast than that.

    I think New York failed to refine what they were doing, which was to avoid crowds spreading disease in a crowded place that’s having a lot of people die from that disease. They could have done that in a way that meets the strict scrutiny standard DRJ explained. But instead they tried to moot the issue (I’d suspect in bad faith). They had a good idea and handled it poorly.

    Trump idiotically wanted to discriminate againt people on the basis of their religious views, which he would crudely surmise from nationality. And if you’re an American citizen, a tax paying hard working one, who wants to visit your family in Iran, you probably weren’t getting back in under the Muslim ban. I understand lots of folks simply do not care about this racial bigotry. Hence I voted for Biden. 😎

    Dustin (4237e0)

  63. The ghost of Mr Gawain wrote:

    I seldom attend Mass, but I follow the Sacraments.

    Your choice, of course, but, to me, the several governors who have forced churches to close have made attending Mass a political act as well as a religious one. I have not missed a single Sunday since Governor Andy Beshear so graciously ‘allowed’ churches to reopen.

    Actually, his church closure order was struck down by federal Judge Gregory van Tatenhove, though the Honorable Mr Beshear had already decided to allow churches to reopen on the 24th of May. The same Judge Tatenhove just struck down Mr Beshear’s order closing religious private K-12 schools. The Governor said he would appeal the ruling to the Sixth Circuit, but he may have changed his mind once he heard about Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v Cuomo.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  64. Zeke Miller
    @ZekeJMiller

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles issues stay-home order as coronavirus surges out of control, banning most gatherings.
    __ _

    Andrew Follett
    @AndrewCFollett

    Hmmm…what recently happened?

    https://twitter.com/AndrewCFollett/status/1332472516368093189?s=20
    __ _

    harkin (8fadc8)

  65. DCSCA wrote:

    You don’t need to gather in groups to practice your religion. But if you crave company, worshippers can meet and express their faith in a White Plains Costco parking lot– or at outdoor locales– like Stonehenge.

    Once we were ‘allowed’ to have Mass again, our parish priest started celebrating Mass outside. Families brought their own chairs, and were socially distant; everybody wore masks.

    Alas! It’s the end of November, and pretty chilly at 9:00 AM, so Mass has been indoors for the last two weeks. I suppose we were lucky to get as deep into autumn as we did.

    Of course, it was sunny and 61º F here today, and I’m somehow supposed to hate global warming climate change?

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  66. Dustin wrote:

    I think New York failed to refine what they were doing, which was to avoid crowds spreading disease in a crowded place that’s having a lot of people die from that disease. They could have done that in a way that meets the strict scrutiny standard DRJ explained. But instead they tried to moot the issue (I’d suspect in bad faith). They had a good idea and handled it poorly.

    Remember: each of the individual Supremes voted exactly the way they had in South Bay Pentecostal v Sisolak and Calvary Chapel v Newsom. The only difference was that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has gone to her eternal reward and Amy Coney Barrett replaced her.

    The Chief Justice, in his dissent, at least implied that his vote might have been different on the merits in a constitutional claim than it has been on the injunctive relief requests. That was something I found truly strange: he was willing to consider that the plaintiffs had a constitutional claim, but wanted to push off hearing that, probably for months, with a decision announced next June, meaning that he was willing to see their constitutional rights denied until then. The only reason I can see for that was a hope that, with the vaccines, COVID-19 would have been conquered by then, and the Court wouldn’t have to decide the issue at all.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  67. The First Amendment provides the government can’t make laws that “prohibit the free exercise” of religion. Fewer restrictions on secular pursuits than on religious gatherings is not consistent with the 1st Amendment, per the Court. So if Costco gets to gather at the location it owns, churches can, too.

    DRJ (aede82)

  68. That makes sense, DRJ.

    The only difference was that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has gone to her eternal reward and Amy Coney Barrett replaced her.

    Indeed a reason for folks on the left to be upset, but Team D had every opportunity to avoid the problem. In fact, that Obama was followed by Trump should be a reason for lots of soul searching on Team D (and perhaps it is internally).

    Dustin (4237e0)

  69. I have been involved in both eminent domain and annexation cases, and the collection of taxes, real estate and/or sales tax, was considered a legitimate governmental interest. In fact, in one annexation case, it was our defense that the municipality did not impose either tax.

    However, I do not know if that is a sufficiently compelling governmental interest to permit treating tax-paying businesses differently from tax-exempt religious properties under strict scrutiny. Just saying, you know.

    nk (1d9030)

  70. @43. The problem isn’t who “pays“…

    Except it is.

    ‘Benefit’ doesn’t pay the bills. They get a free ride in modern society.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 11/27/2020 @ 11:56 am

    Quoted completely out of context. I expected more from you than this disingenuous way to make your point. You owe me an apology because in context that is not what I wrote.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  71. You don’t need to gather in groups to practice your religion. But if you crave company, worshippers can meet and express their faith in a White Plains Costco parking lot– or at outdoor locales– like Stonehenge.

    However, if at the same time that the worshippers have to be in the Costco parking lot you can have hundreds inside the Costco buying their big lots, there is something akilter as one thing IS protected from the reach of the law and the other not.

    Public health only goes so far. If, say, we knew that Blacks were more susceptible to the virus, that still would not justify separate drinking fountains.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  72. nk, wasn’t there some push back against localities condemning tax-exempt properties to favor taxable uses? The federal RFRA might have been limited by the courts in the past, but I’m getting the feeling that this new court here might be less tolerant of states screwing with churches.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  73. Los Angeles issues stay-home order as coronavirus surges out of control, banning most gatherings.

    L.A. County bans most gatherings except for religious services and protests
    –LA Times headline

    As the number of new coronavirus cases continued to rise in Los Angeles County, health officials Friday issued a temporary and limited stay-at-home order that will take effect Monday.

    The restrictions, which will last for three weeks, are not as severe as those imposed this spring.

    “Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others,” the county public health department said.

    The order prohibits all public and private gatherings with individuals not in the same household, except for religious services and protests.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-11-27/los-angeles-county-coronavirus-stay-at-home-order

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  74. Oddly, I think that allowing religous gatherings, but not most secular ones is ALSO a problem with the 1st Amendment.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  75. @68. Of course gatherings grazers outdoors in a White Plains Costco parking lot- a Costco that pays taxes to support public health services if/when a viral outbreak be sourced to same- is different from squeezing the sheep into the confines of, say, a famed cathedral on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue [ a thoroughfare where folklore has it that a certain, legendary United States president could dare to shoot someone and get away with it. 😉 ] – a ‘church’ that pays no taxes to contribute to the costs of public health services if/when a viral outbreak be sourced to that locale. ‘Churches’ which also avail themselves to many other ‘protective’ services government provides and do not help pay for- like Space Force! 😉

    Long past due for ‘Keepers of the faith’ to help carry the load in modern society: pass’em the collction plate: in the 21st century, taxing them makes even more dollars and “cents.” 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. Oddly, I think that allowing religous gatherings, but not most secular ones is ALSO a problem with the 1st Amendment.

    Yup. I already mentioned the Establishment Clause, but discrimination is forbidden for all First Amendment rights. The Illinois Nazis have as much right to march down Skokie Boulevard as the VFW.

    nk (1d9030)

  77. nk, wasn’t there some push back against localities condemning tax-exempt properties to favor taxable uses?

    It’s not condemnation as such, it’s Planning Commission, but there’s an imbroglio right now with a skyscraper going up where the Greek Orthodox Cathedral parking lot now is in the (super-prime real estate) Chicago Gold Coast.

    nk (1d9030)

  78. @70. On the contrary- ‘who pays’ is precisely what it is all about.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  79. Mr M wrote:

    Oddly, I think that allowing religous gatherings, but not most secular ones is ALSO a problem with the 1st Amendment.

    Here in God’s Country, a federal district court judge, Gregory van Tatenhove, ruled that Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order closing all K-12 schools to in person instruction could not apply to religious private schools. It did not apply to secular private schools, but that’s almost certainly due to the fact that no secular private schools joined the lawsuit. The judge was limited by the case before him.

    The judge’s ruling was based on the irreparable damage complaint that the religious schools would suffer, not a freedom of assembly argument.

    Judge van Tatenhove was appointed by the younger President Bush.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  80. Mr M wrote:

    Public health only goes so far. If, say, we knew that Blacks were more susceptible to the virus, that still would not justify separate drinking fountains.

    A better example would be if we knew blacks were more susceptible to the virus, would big city mayors cut off the water to drinking fountains in heavily black areas? That is, in effect, what Governor Cuomo was attempting to do with his individual limits in different color-coded areas.

    In foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia, heavily black areas are seeing a higher rate of COVID-19 infections. I’m trying to figure out how the Chief Justice and the three liberals would have voted on greater restrictions in black neighborhoods than in Mt Airy?

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  81. The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c) — 11/28/2020 @ 5:36 am

    A better example would be if we knew blacks were more susceptible to the virus,

    Vitamin D levels are lower, and lower Vitamin D levels are associated with greater risk of getting sick with Covid (but it’s not “proven” yet – of they had any sense they;d be encouraging people right now to take Vitamin D3 supplements, or extra calcium and magnesium and zinc and not to worry about an overdose unless maybe they’ve already been warned about it by a doctor because it’s not likely) but not all the effects of lower Vitamin D seem to show up when you look at the entire black population of the United States.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954269

    The [Vitamin D] paradox is that despite markedly low (or “deficient”) measures of vitamin D status in Black Americans, the incidence of falls, fractures, or osteopenia are significantly lower compared to White American counterparts with similar vitamin D status.

    Maybe they’re much less likely to be taking blood pressure medication? Or do their bones, for some other reason, have more density on average?

    However, the panelists did agree that the paradox is significant and warrants further investigation. There was consensus that Black Americans gained no skeletal benefits from high doses of vitamin D supplementation, and that high levels of the biomarker of vitamin D status, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D, in this population are almost certain to result in adverse effects.

    We need better theorists. We have theoretical physicists but not professional thereotical medical researchers.

    A quote from the National Academies Press in 2011 reads, “…emerging evidence would suggest that there is perhaps a lower requirement for calcium and vitamin D among African Americans relative to ensuring bone health, at least compared with whites, [but] there is a notable lack of high-quality and convincing evidence to act on this possibility…

    That’s what I said was a possibility right off the bat. (one of two I thought of.)

    How many years have they been trying to figure this out?

    Citing work that he has been involved with since the early 1970’s, Dr. Aloia stated that Black Americans have higher bone mass when compared to White Americans. He presented data that show clear differences in total body potassium and calcium in White and Black Americans (Fig. 3), along with data that show that Black Americans have higher mineral and protein mass than White Americans (Table 1).

    So there is some other factor besides Vitamin D that increases calcium. Could it be differences in diet, or is there some other hormone involved?

    But a lower relationship, on average, between Vitamin D and bone density may not mean a lower relatiosho between Vitamin D and the immune system. Lower Vitamin D levels (but probably really lower clcium levels) is associated with greater risks from the coronavirus.

    https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/HealthU/2020/11/03/should-you-take-vitamin-d-for-covid-prevention/

    Several studies have shown that COVID-19 patients who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to experience serious illness, severe complications and increased risk of death. And one study showed that when hospitalized COVID-19 patients took oral vitamin D supplements as part of their treatment, they were significantly less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit than COVID-19 patients who didn’t receive vitamin D supplements.

    But remember, there might be a better marker than Vitamin D. But no test for it.

    But f=of course there are sociological factors, too.

    The Dana from Kentucky:

    would big city mayors cut off the water to drinking fountains in heavily black areas? That is, in effect, what Governor Cuomo was attempting to do with his individual limits in different color-coded areas.

    Well, they’ve taken closing parks, (and water fountains) off their lists of measures. Governor Cuomo had actually gerrymandered the red zone to take in areas with large numbers of Orthodox Jews. They had to take in a few big Catholic churches too. Mayor deBlasio had started with zip codes, but Governor Cuomo overrid him. Later, he tried to render the case moot.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)


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