New Jersey Religious Leaders Appeal to Supreme Court in Coronavirus Fight – By Graham Piro (Free Beacon) / Nov 23 2020
An Orthodox Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest are teaming up to appeal to the Supreme Court in a religious-liberty lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s coronavirus restrictions.
The pair of religious leaders said that the state’s cap on in-person religious gatherings is lower than restrictions on non-religious events and that the state’s mask mandate does not provide enough exemptions for religious gatherings. Religious gatherings “are still being treated unequally relative to numerous comparable secular activities,” the two argue.
Rabbi Yisrael Knopfler, leader of an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, and Catholic priest Kevin Robinson filed an application with Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito, who indicated his sympathy for religious challenges to coronavirus restrictions in a speech earlier this month. The application asks the Supreme Court to step in and temporarily allow religious gatherings to operate at the same capacity as essential businesses.
“Government cannot set up rules that burden places of worship, or worship activities, that do not also pertain to other, comparable secular activities,” special counsel Christopher Ferrara, who is representing the religious leaders, said. “That is the very crux of religious discrimination and a blatant abuse of the United States Constitution and its Amendments.”