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Federal judge says Cuomo, de Blasio unfairly targeted religious worship....
Federal judge says Cuomo, de Blasio 
unfairly targeted religious worship while 
sanctioning protests

The governor's strict limits on religious worship 
are 'underinclusive,' judge rules.

By Daniel Payne

Last Updated:
June 26, 2020 - 4:53pm

federal judge in New York ruled on Friday that 
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor 
Bill de Blasio have unfairly discriminated against 
churches in the city and state while at the same 
time sanctioning and approving of massive 
"race-related protests" in the same localities. 

Those protests exploded across the country at the 
end of May and in the early part of June in response 
to the police killing of black Minneapolis resident 
George Floyd. The advent of the protests brought 
about a sharp turn of rhetoric for Cuomo and de Blasio: 
For months they had strongly insisted on major and 
open-ended "social distancing" policies throughout 
their jurisdictions, yet they were for the most part 
enthusiastic backers of the densely crowded demonstrations.
In a Friday ruling, U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe ruled 

in New York's Northern District Court that both politicians 
had "arbitrarily" restricted religious gatherings while 
openly approving of the protests, some of which have 
resulted in "groups of thousands" of demonstrators, 
as Sharpe notes.

De Blasio in particular has "actively encouraged participation 
in protests and openly discouraged religious gatherings 
and threatened religious worshipers," Sharpe writes. 

Ruling in favor of the plaintiffs—two Catholic priests and 
three Orthodox Jewish congregants—Sharpe declares that 
the state is forbidden from enforcing unequal indoor 
capacity limits against religious worshippers, and that it 
cannot enforce "any limitation for outdoor gatherings" 
so long as "participants in such gatherings follow 
social distancing requirements."

Writing on the unequal treatment in which the 
politicians engaged: Sharpe declares in the decision: 
"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."

"But by acting as they did, Governor Cuomo and 
Mayor de Blasio sent a clear message that mass 
protests are deserving of preferential treatment."

A True Friend
Freely Advises,
Justly Assists Readily,
Adventures Boldly,
Takes all Patiently,
Defends Courageously
Continues a Friend Unchangeably.

William Penn

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