The Supreme Court sent a wakeup call to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, ruling that his edict to limit gatherings in Catholic diocese and synagogues was unconstitutional. To paraphrase Justice Neil Gorsuch, it made no sense that Cuomo's mandates had reopened liquor stores, but maintained limits on churches.
Democratic Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who ran for president last year, was a surprise supporter of the SCOTUS ruling. The Democrat cheered the justices' decision as a First Amendment win. She thanked the Court for treating churches the same as secular institutions.
I strongly support this Supreme Court ruling defending our First Amendment/freedom of religion. While COVID may temporarily require certain public health restrictions, houses of worship MUST be treated same as secular institutions—not more harshly/strictly.https://t.co/PD2ztczYrD— Tulsi Gabbard ?? (@TulsiGabbard) November 30, 2020
Social media users replied to Gabbard's tweet by urging her to switch parties. That's old news, though. During the Democratic primary, Gabbard's often common sense messages had a lot of conservatives wondering what she was doing standing onstage with the likes of self-described Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In their response to the Supreme Court ruling, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn said that the act of prayer in a time of pandemic is "essential." And they have done all they can to make it as safe as possible.
"I have said from the beginning the restrictions imposed by Governor Cuomo were an overreach that did not take into account the size of our churches or the safety protocols that have kept parishioners safe," said The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn.
In his own statement, Gov. Cuomo tried to argue that the ruling was irrelevant.