United States Supreme Court Hands Down Religious Rights Victory for New Jersey Priest and Rabbi
Thomas More Society Applauds Order Against Governor Murphy’s COVID Prompted Discrimination
(December 15, 2020 – Washington, DC) Today, the United States Supreme Court handed down what attorneys from the Thomas More Society are calling “a huge victory for religious freedom.” The case, pitting a New Jersey Catholic priest and Orthodox Jewish rabbi against Governor Philip Murphy’s COVID-19-related executive orders restricting houses of worship to 25% of capacity while secular businesses and schools are at 100% capacity.
The high court granted the writ of certiorari before judgment on appeal in the Third Circuit and vacated the original judgment of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey denying an injunction against the restrictions to Reverend Kevin Robinson and Rabbi Yisrael Knopfler who preside over small houses of worship in the state.
The case will now be sent back to the District Court where it will be reconsidered in light of the Supreme Court’s recent (November 30, 2020) decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, which held that houses of worship cannot be treated more harshly than functionally comparable secular entities such as schools, warehouses, factories and large stores.
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara addressed the core of the case.
This is one of dozens of lawsuits across the country pitting houses of worship, their leaders, and congregants against gubernatorial abuse of power,” explained Ferrara. “This order shows that the Supreme Court is truly interested in ensuring churches get equal treatment with secular activities, even if the Governor Murphy’s edicts are not nearly as ‘severe’ as New York's 10- and 25-person limits on houses of worship in Governor Cuomo’s “Red Zone” or California’s total ban on indoor worship in Governor Newsom’s “Purple Tier.”
Under Murphy’s executive orders in New Jersey, houses of worship are limited to 25% capacity, while Costco, Walmart, factories, schools, and other venues, all get better treatment. What is particularly significant in this case is that the high court is not only recognizing the error of outright bans or virtual bans on houses of worship which were at issue in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo in New York and Harvest Rock v. Newsom in California, but also acknowledges the disparately applied capacity percentage limits also violate the Free Exercise clause.
Ferrara added “We are getting a very clear message from the United States Supreme Court that government cannot set up any rules that apply to places of worship, or worship activities, but not to other, comparable secular activities. This is the very crux of religious discrimination and a blatant abuse of the United States Constitution and its Amendments.”
Also significant is that the Court granted certiorari and vacated the District Court’s refusal to grant an injunction from New Jersey’s “mask mandate.” As the petition to the Supreme Court argued: “[U]nder New Jersey’s mask mandate, parties of eight (or family parties of unlimited size) can eat, drink and be merry sans masks while facing each other across narrow or round tables, without social distancing, all the while expelling particles of virus at each other—for hours on end, if the owner permits. Yet worshippers cannot sit in pews—facing in the same direction and separated by six feet from each other—for even one hour, once a week, without the mandated face covering. They [are allowed to] partake of Holy Communion or “the Kiddush cup” only “momentarily” without the state-imposed mask, but diners can tuck into multicourse dinners and imbibe wine for as long as they please while maskless. In what world is this disparate treatment of religion versus dining constitutionally permissible?”
Read the December 15, 2020, United States Supreme Court Order granting the writ of certiorari before judgement and vacating the October 2 order of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and remanding it to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit here [https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/NJ-Order-order-to-vacate.jpg].
Read the Thomas More Society’s Emergency Application to Justice Alito for an Injunction Pending Appellate Review, filed with the United States Supreme Court in Rev. Kevin Robinson and Rabbi Yisrael A. Knopfler v. Philip D. Murphy, Governor of the State of New Jersey, et. al, on November 19, 2020, here [https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Robinson-et-al.-v.-Murphy-et-al.-Emerg.-App.-for-IPA-to-Justice-Alito-11-19-2020.pdf] along with the Reply in Support of the application here https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/SCOTUS-Reply-NJ.pdf
#SaveChristmas Rally Press Release
Date: December 12, 2020
Location: Capitol Mall, St. Paul, Minnesota
Last month, Governor Tim Walz informed Minnesotans that he would be regulating how and with whom they could “legally” celebrate Thanksgiving in their own homes.
Dear Christian Patriots:
Last month, Governor Tim Walz informed us that he would be regulating how and with whom we could “legally” celebrate Thanksgiving in our own homes.
Simply put, this is unconstitutional.
Georgia was pivotal during November’s presidential election as one of a handful of swing states that made Joe Biden, President-elect. The Peach State will again take center stage on Jan. 5 with its scheduled runoff of two Senate seats whose importance cannot be exaggerated.
Georgia’s anticipated January election for Republicans could very well serve as a last stand against the emerging Democrat socialistic wave that is anxiously awaiting to swallow up the American Republic.
Is there a single issue on which Francis comes down on the Catholic side anymore? If you want to be a conservative, a patriot, a traditionalist, a regular guy—just do the exact opposite of what this little, diminutive man does. (Yes, despite what you may have seen from the Vatican glamor shot photographer, Francis is actually just over 5’7”, which explains a lot.)
So, when it came to handling COVID, what did the great big man do? Closed down the churches and immediately started talking about the desperate need for a new worldwide post-COVID economy (read “GREAT RESET”).
Local Minnesota news got wind of the “Stuff your Mandate” protest, organized by the founder of MAGASOTA”, the largest pro-Trump organization in the state. Here’s their coverage, in part:
"Protesters plan to gather outside the Minnesota governor’s residence Saturday in opposition to Gov. Tim Walz’s new lockdown order.
The 'stuff your mandate' protest will take place Saturday at 1 p.m., the first full day of the partial lockdown.
'Protesting the unconstitutional mandate that Tim the turkey is placing on the good citizens of this state. Bring your noise and signs,' states an event description.
During a statewide address Wednesday night, Gov. Walz ordered the closure of all bars, restaurants, pools, gyms, and indoor and outdoor entertainment venues for at least the next four weeks. The order also cancels organized adult and youth sports, and prohibits social gatherings with people from other households."
Let’s help MAGASOTA make this protest one of the most successful demonstrations against lockdowns this country has ever seen. No more excuses. Stand up now, or regret it later.
Event Page HERE
There are some news stories that have been buried under the avalanche of media coverage during this most contentious and controversial of presidential elections, but it certainly doesn’t diminish their newsworthiness and importance.
Fulton v. City of Philadelphia is one of them, where the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in what will be a historic First Amendment ruling sometime early in 2021, regardless of who lives in the White House.
In 2018, Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) was prohibited by the same city that provided cover for infamous abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell from finding homes for foster children – unless CSS accepted gay unions. This occurred while Philadelphia declared a city emergency with 300 children in need of foster care.
Catch Michael J. Matt on
Steve Bannon's War Room
Monday (Nov 16) at 5:50pm CST
Watch the show below (min 50)
Given the avalanche of bad news engulfing us all these days, this article/video is something I am truly loathe to post. We have all had quite enough of scandal in the Church and out these days, and there just seems to be no end in sight.
Many good souls are quite literally at the end of their rope.
Let me begin with an editorial observation: The Remnant is not an investigative journal. We do not pretend to have the resources or the desire to field teams of private investigators to take down priests accused of abuse. I rarely weigh in on accusations of abuse, especially those leveled by organizations with an obvious axe to grind.