The US Supreme Court has temporarily blocked New York from enforcing attendance limits at places of worship in areas hit hard by coronavirus.
In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled that the state’s congregational cap violated rights to religious freedom.
In an unsigned order, it said the rules “single[d] out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment.”This was one of the first consequential rulings since conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett was appointed.
President Donald Trump appointed her to replace liberal predecessor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.Justice Barrett voted in the majority, along with other Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The three liberal justices dissented, as did conservative Chief Justice John Roberts.
Earlier this year, before Justice Ginsburg’s death, the court voted to leave similar restrictions in place in California and Nevada.The US is continuing to battle the world’s largest outbreak of coronavirus. Over 12.7 million cases have been recorded nationally, and more than 262,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.