A federal court sent a message to New York leaders, and really all other blue state politicians, that you can treat churches differently from other organizations that you don’t hate, but you won’t get away with it forever as he slammed the New York governor and NYC major for having double standards on their virus pandemic orders.
Hypocrisy, which has been spreading faster than the Chinese pandemic virus, won’t stand up to the legal challenge, Judge Gary Sharpe warned Democrats. Liberals might have selectively OK’d mass gatherings, but the Constitution isn’t a document of “freedom for me, but not for thee.”
Good for this judge. Another judge, Andrew Napolitano, has recently argued that to force citizens who do not have the virus to wear a mask is unconstitutional. The state can order someone who has been diagnosed with the virus to wear a mask in public, but they cannot take the freedoms and liberties away from people who are healthy.
For lots of religious groups, Friday’s ruling was a long time coming. During the last three months, churches and other houses of worship have watched as local leaders, only in New York, but all around the country, have tried to screw over congregations in the name of virus prevention.
It is especially outrageous when you see Democrat governors and mayors violating their own lockdown orders. De Blasio in New York City was seen marching with Black Lives Matter, even though he was violating his own order. The same with the governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. How can you have confidence in elected officials when they break their own rules for political reasons, rules that have negatively affected your own life?
After weeks of unequal treatment, the George Floyd protests appeared to be the last straw. After two priests and three Jewish practitioners asked them, Thomas More Society took New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to court, where the distinction of inequality was embarrassingly apparent.
When the injunction was announced, special counsel Chris Ferrara was pleased to see the court could “see through the sham of Governor Cuomo’s ‘Social Distancing Protocol.’” On “Washington Watch” Friday, he could only shake his head at the left.
New York leaders “[were] approving mass protests over the death of George Floyd, which is classic First Amendment protected activity. People have the right to do that … There were also Juneteenth celebrations in the thousands. All of this is classic First Amendment activity. The only problem is it contradicts the entire regime of social distancing, which they claimed was necessary to save lives. Well, nothing is [riskier] in terms of spreading a virus than 5,000 people or 10,000 people marching across the Brooklyn Bridge, which they have no problem with. So the double standard basically dealt a death blow to their social distancing regime, both outdoors and indoors.”
Basically, he pointed out, Cuomo and de Blasio have been attempting to squash gatherings they didn’t like, “namely religious gatherings and others to 10 people in the lower half of the state.”
In fact, at the same time that thousands of people had been marching in Brooklyn, the police have been taking Hasidic Jewish children out of a local park. “The disparity was just intolerable. We just saw that this was a double standard that could not be sustained under constitutional scrutiny.”
The judge make it crystal clear that there wasn’t even the appearance of a level playing field. de Blasio and Cuomo targeted religious institutions with hardships they didn’t out on anyone else. And the right to worship is enshrined in our Constitution.
“Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules,” Sharpe continued. “But by acting as they did, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.”
OUCH! That had to sting.
However, even putting aside the Floyd protests, the judge identified that offices, shops, salons, and restaurants are all allowed to open at 50% capacity indoors and all “involve the congregation of people for a length of time.”
“These secular businesses/activities threaten defendants’ interest in slowing the spread of [the virus] to a similar or greater degree than those of plaintiffs’ and demonstrate that the 25% indoor capacity limitation on houses of worship is underinclusive and triggers strict scrutiny review.”
Very succinctly, Ferrara insisted, “people should be treated equally regardless of the purpose of their gatherings. You cannot cabin religion in a 25% indoor occupancy category … There’s no basis for it other than anecdotes and superstitions about how houses of worship are somehow viral danger zones, unlike supermarkets, bagel stores, offices, and even restaurants.”
He pointed to areas in northern New York where restaurants were putting tables of 10 just 6 feet apart.
“So the activities that they were allowing are not different from indoor religious gatherings in any meaningful sense that involves public health. So [Sharpe] said what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And all religious gatherings should be on the same level as secular in those gatherings.”
Let’s hope other blue states take a lesson in this, that they’re tyrannical policies aren’t just bad, they’re unconstitutional.
I submit that Democrat governors and mayors know full well that their actions are unconstitutional, and they don’t care, because they won’t be penalized in any way. By the time the courts tell them they need to stop what they’re doing, the mission they set out to do has already been accomplished. These leftist politicians’ goal was to interfere in the presidential election by obliterating the one thing they knew would drive Trump’s reelection: the soaring economy. I believe they hate Trump so much that they put their own people through hell just to get rid of him in November. It’s no different from how rogue left-wing activist judges behaved when they would rule against the Trump administration with rulings they were obviously unconstitutional, knowing they would later be overturned, but also knowing that the damage were doing would be complete by the time they were overruled at a higher court.
VIDEO OF THE DAYIdiots Twerk On Ambulance After Shooting In Oakland, CA
I think there should be criminal penalties to judges and politicians who use the system as a punishment, because invariably, the people who get harmed the most are those they are supposed to serve.
Rich is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and runs Maga-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
MAGA-Chat.com, where free speech is still free. JOIN the revolution!