2020-11-19 07:36

Catholic diocese and Orthodox Jewish synagogues ask Supreme Court to block New York's Covid limits GyY世界播



Churchgoers pray keeping social distancing at the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York, on June 11, 2020. GyY世界播


While incidences of Covid spike across the country, the Supreme Court is once again considering arguments from houses of worship that say pandemic-related restrictions are violating their religious freedom rights. GyY世界播


The two latest cases arise out of New York as a Roman Catholic Diocese in Brooklyn and a group of Orthodox synagogues are challenging Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order limiting in-person attendance at houses of worship to 10 or 25 people in geographic "red" and "orange" zones. GyY世界播

最近的两起案件发生在纽约,当时布鲁克林的一个罗马天主教教区和一群东正教犹太教堂正在挑战民主党州长安德鲁·科莫(Andrew Cuomo)的行政命令,该行政命令限制在地理上的“红色”和“橙色”区域亲自前往礼拜场所的人数不得超过10到25人。GyY世界播




The disputes tee up another test for a court that has already closely divided 5-4 on the issue, and highlights not only the role of Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided against churches in related cases from California and Nevada, but also Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose vote could represent a solid indication of the court's rightward turn since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. GyY世界播

在这个问题上,最高法院已经出现了5比4的严重分歧。这起纠纷给最高法院带来了又一次考验,不仅突显了首席大法官约翰·罗伯茨(John Roberts)的作用,他在加利福尼亚州和内华达州的相关案件中反对教会,也突显了大法官艾米·科尼·巴雷特(Amy Coney Barrett)的作用,巴雷特的投票可能有力地表明,自大法官露丝·巴德·金斯伯格(Ruth Bader Ginsburg)去世以来,最高法院向右转。GyY世界播

It comes as the US has recorded more than 100,000 daily infections for two weeks straight, and Justice Samuel Alito has lashed out at his colleagues, accusing them of failing to properly consider the First Amendment rights of houses of worship. GyY世界播

与此同时,美国已连续两周记录到每日感染人数超过10万人,大法官塞缪尔·阿利托(Samuel Alito)猛烈抨击他的同僚,指责他们未能正确考虑礼拜场所第一修正案(First Amendment)的权利。GyY世界播

Alito did not mince words during a speech last week about his feelings of attendance limits. GyY世界播


"We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged," Alito told a Federalist Society audience, adding that the pandemic has resulted in "previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty." GyY世界播


The Covid crisis, Alito said, has served as a "sort of constitutional stress test." GyY世界播


Lawyers for the Brooklyn diocese, which is composed of 186 parishes and 210 total churches, say that the New York order "effectively closes" churches and other houses of worship but allows businesses deemed essential by the governor -- including supermarkets, pet stores and hardware stores -- to remain open. GyY世界播


"In short, the pandemic alone cannot justify overbroad, untailored closure orders of indefinite duration directed at all houses of worship that in another time would plainly be found to violate the Constitution," the lawyers say in court papers. The so-called "Cluster Initiative" -- aimed at neighborhoods -- went into effect on October 6. GyY世界播



Supreme Court decides against Nevada church fighting to overturn attendance limit GyY世界播


On Wednesday New York state Attorney General Letitia James, representing Cuomo, responded to the Supreme Court, calling the restrictions an effort to balance the need to protect residents and "help them return, as much as possible, to their normal lives." GyY世界播

周三,代表库默的纽约州总检察长利蒂夏·詹姆斯(Letitia James)回应最高法院,称这些限制是为了平衡保护居民的需要和“帮助他们尽可能恢复正常生活”的需要。GyY世界播

James argued that in some instances houses of worship are treated "more favorably than comparable gatherings" such as concerts and other large indoor gatherings. GyY世界播


She said the state Department of Health had identified ZIP codes with the highest Covid-19 rates to identify problematic clusters and then had initiated restriction zones. She highlighted a "documented history of religious gatherings serving as Covid-19 super-spreader events." GyY世界播


James added that businesses that have been allowed to remain open do not share religious services' specific risk factors, which include large numbers of people from different households arriving simultaneously, congregating for an extended period to speak, sing or chant and then leaving simultaneously. GyY世界播


A federal appeals court ruled in favor of Cuomo. GyY世界播



Judge rules against Brooklyn Diocese in Covid-19 lawsuit GyY世界播


In addition, earlier this week lawyers for Orthodox Jewish synagogues in New York as well as a national Orthodox Jewish organization filed a separate petition challenging the same executive order. They argue that Cuomo expressly targeted the Orthodox Jewish community because he claimed their neighborhoods violated prior rules. GyY世界播


"The governor's targeting of a religious minority for blame during a pandemic, falsely tarring them as perpetrators rather than victims of the virus, is incompatible with the Free Exercise Clause," the lawyers said. GyY世界播


Eric Rassbach, a senior lawyer at Becket Law representing the synagogues, said in an interview that the "real question here is whether there are any constitutional guardrails on the Covid-19 response, or do the court simply stay out completely?" GyY世界播

代表犹太教堂的贝克特律师事务所(Becket Law)高级律师埃里克·拉斯巴赫(Eric Rassbach)在接受采访时说,“真正的问题是,对新冠肺炎的回应是否有宪法保护,还是法院完全置身事外?”GyY世界播

"The history of things like Japanese internment and the treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses during World War II show that it is precisely during times of national peril that our courts must stand as guardians of our most basic beliefs," he said. GyY世界播


Rassbach distinguishes his case from two cases yearlier this year where churches out of Nevada and California sought to block restrictions on in-person worship services. Back then, a 5-4 court ruled against the religious institutions with Roberts joining the left side of the bench. In an attempt to sway Roberts, Rassbach notes that those orders came out earlier in the pandemic and argues that the Cluster Initiative specifically targets Orthodox Jews. GyY世界播



Members of Orthodox Jewish community protest for a second night in Brooklyn over new Covid-19 restrictions GyY世界播


In the California case last May, Roberts said the rules put in place appeared consistent with the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution and that the churches were treated comparably to secular gatherings including lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports and theatrical performances. GyY世界播


"Our Constitution principally entrusts the safety and the health of the people to the politically accountable officials of the States to guard and protect," Roberts said. GyY世界播


It is a point stressed by the American Medical Association, which has filed a brief in support of Cuomo. Lawyers for the association stress that Covid-19 is the "greatest public health emergency in a century" and that governments have had to make difficult choices in order to protect citizens. GyY世界播

这是美国医学会(American Medical Association)强调的一点,该协会已经提交了一份支持库莫的简报。该协会的律师强调,新冠肺炎是“百年不遇的突发公共卫生事件”,为了保护公民,政府不得不做出艰难的选择。GyY世界播

"Remaining in close proximity indoors for long durations, as well as singing and talking, make attendance at religious service, risky, even if congregants follow precautions," the brief says and notes that the restrictions are similar to those for indoor sporting events, bars and indoor restaurants. GyY世界播



NYC schools will close after the city reached a 3% Covid positivity rate threshold GyY世界播


Alito has objected to the comparisons to secular gatherings. GyY世界播


In his Federalist Society speech last week, he lambasted the governor of Nevada who, he said, had allowed fewer restrictions to casinos than houses of worship. GyY世界播


"If you want to worship and you are the 51st person in line, sorry you are out of luck," he said. "The state's message is this: forget about worship and head for the slot machines or maybe a Cirque de Soleil show." GyY世界播

“如果你想做礼拜,而你是第51个排队的人,很抱歉你运气不佳,”他说。“这个州传达的信息是:忘掉崇拜,去老虎机或太阳马戏团(Cirque De Soleil)表演吧。”GyY世界播

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