Gorsuch rejects Colorado church’s request to stop COVID restrictions
June 1, 2021
Judge Neil Gorsuch refused to provide emergency relief to two churches in Colorado. (Art Lien)
In the latest fight against restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Neal Gossack Rejected requests from two Denver area churches Prevent the implementation of the Colorado disaster law.The Denver Bible Church and Community Baptist Church seek extensive relief, asking the court not only to stop any COVID-19 restrictions based on the law that would interfere with the church’s ability to exercise its religion, but also to urge the justices to veto Centennial decision Adhere to the law of compulsory vaccination. Gorsuch, who received urgent requests from Colorado and neighboring states, rejected the church’s request on Tuesday without submitting it to the full court and without any explanation.
Refuse to follow series of other Recent court ruling Shadow dossier Among them, the court has provided emergency relief to religious groups seeking to exempt the state from restrictions on face-to-face gatherings.Among these rulings, there is an April decision Tanton v Newsom, Where the court ruled 5-4 Group prayer meetings are entitled to exemption From California’s policy of restricting family gatherings during the pandemic.
In the Colorado case, Denver Bible Church v. Polis, The church sued state and federal officials in September, alleging (among other things) the state COVID order violated the First Amendment. In October, the Federal District Court partially agreed and prohibited Colorado from imposing occupancy restrictions and masks on worship services. After Colorado changed its public health order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rejected the state’s appeal to challenge the district court order; the Court of Appeals also rejected the church’s request for an emergency order to seek broader relief.
The church came to the Supreme Court in early May, debate The Colorado disaster law contains a “full exemption” for secular activities, but no similar exemption for religious worship.under tank The church argued that in the ruling, the law should be subject to strict scrutiny-the strictest constitutional test-and the state should be prevented from using the law to impose any restrictions on the church.
Colorado urge The Supreme Court should not intervene and tell the judges that there will be no more disputes on the scene. It noted that the state not only removed capacity restrictions on worship services, but also downgraded other COVID-19 restrictions (such as social distancing requirements) to guidelines only. Although the requirement to wear masks still exists, the state told the court on May 14 that “the specific exemption for religious activities allows them to be temporarily removed to participate in religious ceremonies.”
Although other challenges to COVID-19 restrictions sometimes cause heated debate, it turns out that the Colorado case is clearly not that divided. When dealing with emergency relief requests, the judge usually submits the closed case to the full court, but Gorsuch (usually one of the strongest supporters of the court’s expansion of religious rights) chooses not to do so here.
This article is Originally published in Howe on the Court.