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Federal Judge Tosses Kansas Governor’s Limits on Churches During COVID


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Due to the COVID pandemic, most states have placed limits on gatherings, including religious services.

Some restrictions are so severe that churches have decided to close temporarily altogether.

Kansas was one of those states, with worship services limited to no more than 10 persons at a time.

A federal judge, however, tossed out that limit this weekend. The judge rightfully noted that the governor of Kansas, a Democrat, had “singled out” churches for stricter treatment. Therefore, her executive order violated the First Amendment.

Fox News has the details on the judge’s ruling:

A federal court in Kansas issued a temporary restraining order Saturday against an executive order capping church gatherings at 10 people due to COVID-19, according to a local report.

The move came a week after the Supreme Court of Kansas ruled in favor of Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat who saw her order overturned by a GOP-led panel of state lawmakers.

Despite the ruling, Kelly defended her order.

“We are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic,” the governor said, according to The Associated Press. “This is not about religion. This is about a public health crisis.” She called the ruling “preliminary” and said she would remain “proactive” about protecting the public’s health.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, meanwhile, supported the court’s action.

“Today’s judicial ruling is a much-needed reminder that the Constitution is not under a stay-home order and the Bill of Rights cannot be quarantined,” he said. “The Constitution protects our liberties especially during times of crisis, when history reveals governments too quick to sacrifice rights of the few to calm fears of the many.”

The state court had not ruled on the constitutionality of Kelly’s order, according to the Kansas City Star, which led to a pair of federal lawsuits on behalf of two churches and their pastors.

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The judge noted that the order banned church gatherings but not similar public activities like crowds at airports or industrial facilities, violating both the First Amendment and a state religious freedom law, the paper reported.

Churches must still practice other social distancing and health guidelines, including taking congregants’ temperatures and sanitizing the building before a service and during in-person gatherings.

You’ll notice that despite what many on the left may infer, the judge’s order doesn’t give churches special treatment. They still have to comply with disinfecting and social distancing orders. The order simply mandates that churches must be treated like every other business and organization and not singled out for harsher treatment.

Meanwhile, tweets show that many people aren’t happy with the closing of churches around the country. 

Check out what’s being said:

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