New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has had one hellacious time in dealing with COVID-19, and his efforts to contain the fallout of his own coronavirus scandals was no small feat either.
Cuomo began the pandemic by sending terminally ill patients into nursing homes in order to free up space in the state’s burdened hospitals. The at-risk populations of these nursing homes were soon devastated, leaving Cuomo’s critics with plenty of ammunition for the months to come.
The governor also conjured a bit of controversy when he attempted to impose strict limits on the number of worshippers who could gather at one time in the state. The Supreme Court didn’t seem to care for those ideas much at all.
The court ruled 5-4 to bar Cuomo from enforcing his Oct. 6 “Cluster Initiative” against houses of worship that sued to challenge the restrictions.
The order was also the first in which Justice Amy Coney Barrett played a decisive role. Barrett, who was President Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, joined the court Oct. 27, after winning Senate confirmation following the Sept. 18 death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The language used by some of these jurists was stern, to say the least.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, in the concurring opinion, said Cuomo had treated religious activities less favorably than nonreligious ones, according to the New York Times.
“It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques,” wrote Gorsuch, who was also named to the court by Trump.
Governor Cuomo has been considered one of the stricter state officials when it comes to COVID-19, and the ruling is likely being celebrated around the Thanksgiving dinner table in much of upstate New York.
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