Case on Churches, Cuomo and Coronavirus Arrives at Supreme Court

first_imgThe restrictions in Brooklyn are severe. In shifting “red zones,” where the coronavirus risk is highest, no more than 10 people may attend church services. In slightly less dangerous “orange zones,” attendance is capped at 25. This applies even in churches that can seat more than 1,000 people.The measures were prompted in large part by rising cases in Orthodox Jewish areas. But the restrictions applied to all houses of worship.Even as he ruled against the diocese, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn praised it as “an exemplar of community leadership” that had been “enforcing stricter safety protocols than the state required.”Lawyers for Mr. Cuomo agreed, telling an appeals court that the diocese “has introduced laudable social-distancing and hygiene measures.”The diocese has said it intends to continue to limit attendance to 25 percent of its churches’ capacities and would accept other limitations, such as doing away with singing by congregants and choirs.Judge Garaufis, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, said the case was a difficult one. But he concluded that he would defer to the governor. “If the court issues an injunction and the state is correct about the acuteness of the threat currently posed by hot spot neighborhoods,” the judge wrote, “the result could be avoidable death on a massive scale like New Yorkers experienced in the spring.”In refusing to block the governor’s order while the diocese’s appeal went forward, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit drew on Chief Justice Roberts’s concurring opinion in the California case. Since the restrictions on churches were less severe than those on comparable secular gatherings like theaters, casinos and gyms, the majority wrote in an unsigned opinion, they did not run afoul of constitutional protections for religious freedom. One view, expressed by Chief Justice Roberts in a concurring opinion in the California case, is that officials charged with protecting the public “should not be subject to second-guessing by an unelected federal judiciary, which lacks the background, competence and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people.”A few hours after the diocese filed its application, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. delivered a slashing speech to a conservative legal group that expressed the opposite view. He had dissented in both of the earlier cases, and his speech echoed points he had made in the one from Nevada.“Whenever fundamental rights are restricted, the Supreme Court and other courts cannot close their eyes,” Justice Alito said on Thursday, rejecting the view that “whenever there is an emergency, executive officials have unlimited, unreviewable discretion.” The court is likely to rule on the dispute from Brooklyn in the next week or so. The case may be the first in which Justice Barrett’s vote changes the court’s direction. WASHINGTON — In recent months, churches in California and Nevada asked the Supreme Court to lift government restrictions on attendance at religious services meant to address the coronavirus pandemic. The churches lost.The vote in both cases was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining what was then the court’s four-member liberal wing. One of those liberals, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died in September. Her successor, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, joined the court last month.- Advertisement – The members of the majority were Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr., who was appointed by President Barack Obama, and Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who ordinarily sits on Federal District Court in Manhattan and who was appointed by Mr. Clinton.Judge Michael H. Park, who was appointed by President Trump, dissented. He said Governor Cuomo’s order discriminated against houses of worship because it allowed businesses like liquor stores and pet shops to remain open without capacity restrictions.In asking the Supreme Court to step in, lawyers for the diocese argued that its “spacious churches” were safer than many “secular businesses that can open without restrictions, such as pet stores and broker’s offices and banks and bodegas.” An hourlong Mass, the diocese’s brief said, is “shorter than many trips to a supermarket or big-box store, not to mention a 9-to-5 job.”Lawyers for Mr. Cuomo said gatherings like those at churches and theaters were different from shopping trips. “The state’s limits on mass gatherings have consistently recognized that the risk of transmitting Covid-19 is much greater at gatherings where people arrive and depart at the same time and congregate and mingle for a communal activity over an extended period of time,” the governor’s appeals court brief said.Judge Park, the dissenting appeals court judge, twice served as a law clerk to Justice Alito, once on the federal appeals court in Philadelphia and once on the Supreme Court. His dissent anticipated the remarks his former boss delivered on Thursday.“The pandemic,” Justice Alito said, “has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.”“This is especially evident with respect to religious liberty,” he added. “It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.” – Advertisement – It will not take long to assess the significance of that switch.On Thursday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn filed an emergency application asking the Supreme Court to lift restrictions imposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. The case is broadly similar to the earlier ones. The outcome, even as the pandemic is worsening, may be quite different.The general question in all of the cases is whether government officials or judges should calibrate responses to the public health crisis. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Asset management roundup: Natixis launches infrastructure affiliate

first_imgCredit: Manuel JosephShanghai, ChinaAegon Asset Management has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Lujiazui Administration Bureau, a free trade zone in China, with a view to jointly supporting the establishment of a global asset management centre.Aegon said the agreement “signalled its intention” to set up a subsidiary in Shanghai to distribute products to China’s high net worth and institutional investor sectors.The company already has a partnership in China with Industrial Securities, known as Aegon Industrial Fund Management Company (AIFMC), which was set up in 2008. The new company in Shanghai would “complement AIFMC’s distribution strategy and investment capabilities”, Aegon said.Martin Davis, head of Aegon Asset Management Europe, said: “As signatories we will be one of an early group of global asset managers able to bring world class investment strategies to the domestic Chinese high net worth and institutional market.“As such we are extremely pleased to be working with the Shanghai Lujiazui Administration Bureau to establish this new centre of asset management excellence.” Jean Raby, CEO of Natixis Investment Managers, said: “At a time where the infrastructure investing market is growing significantly, creating a stand-alone specialised affiliate, with an entrepreneurial approach and proven track record, will enable global investors to more easily access the infrastructure investments fitting their specific needs and constraints.”The launch of Vauban follows a number of additions to Natixis’ line up of affiliates focused on real assets and alternatives, including the creation of Flexstone Partners in December 2018, the acquisition of MV Credit in June 2018, and the launch of a private real asset debt co-investment offering run by Ostrum Asset Management and Natixis’ investment banking arm.Aegon targets China onshore market Natixis Investment Managers, one of Europe’s biggest investment houses, plans to launch a new subsidiary focused on infrastructure.Subject to approval by the French regulator, Vauban Infrastructure Partners will oversee €2.8bn in assets and join Natixis’ network of asset manager affiliate companies. It has been spun out of Mirova, which Natixis established in 2014.The affiliate firm will be run as a partnership, Natixis said, with Gwenola Chambon as CEO and Mounir Corm as deputy CEO. The Vauban team has raised five funds and bought more than 50 assets during 10 years of operatons as part of Mirova.Corm said Vauban aimed to double its assets under management in the next few years, adding: “Our mission is to continue to deliver long-term sustainable value to all our stakeholders, including investors, local communities, public entities, employees, and industrial partners, with the highest quality of service.”last_img read more

Messi set to leave Barcelona

first_imgRelatedPosts Suarez agrees Atletico terms Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Neymar bags two-match ban Lionel Messi has told Neymar he will leave Barcelona at the end of next season, according to sensational reports.The magical one-club Argentine pleaded with Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar to return to the club this summer.According to France Football, the forward begged Neymar to come back and help the Catalans win the Champions League after falling to Liverpool in last season’s semi-finals.“Only together can we win the Champions League. I want you to come back,” Messi reportedly said in a phone call to the Brazilian.“In two years, I’m leaving, and you’ll be alone, you’ll take my place.”By the end of the 2020/21 campaign Messi will by 34 years old and probably not ready for retirement.That means a host of top clubs could be vying for his signature – including his former youth team Newell’s Old Boys.Meanwhile, several Barcelona players, including Gerard Pique, have openly revealed they tried to convince Neymar to return to the Nou Camp this summer.The players were reportedly that desperate they offered to take a payout to help broker a deal which could have surpassed the £200million PSG paid for the attacker.“We didn’t stump up money,” Pique told El Larguero in October.“What we said to the president was whether we could change our contracts because we knew there was a Financial Fair Play issue.“We said to the president, rather than earn something in year one, we could earn it in year two or three or four.“Rather than reducing our salary it was about finding a formula so that if the club wanted to sign Neymar they could.“At the time they thought it was a good idea, but then other problems cropped up.”Neymar remained with PSG and has scored four goals in his six appearances this season.Tags: BarcelonaLionel MessiNeymarPSGlast_img read more

Pogba Unfazed with Griezmann at Man City

first_imgPaul Pogba has said that he can handle Antoine Griezmann moving anywhere – even Manchester City – if it means his France team-mate is happy.Griezmann was heavily linked with a move to United during the close season before ultimately opting to sign a new long-term contract with Atletico Madrid last month after the club lost their appeal against a FIFA transfer ban.Pogba hopes his international colleague will be content wherever his career takes him, hailing the Atletico forward’s ability as well as wishing the best to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.Ibrahimovic was released after a serious knee injury in April cut short a magnificent campaign that had seen him score 28 goals and set up a further 10 for United, having arrived – like Pogba – ahead of 2016-17.Pogba told Telefoot: “Griezmann? I wish for his happiness. If that is at Atletico, at City, I will handle it. He is one of the best players in the world.“If Zlatan is happy elsewhere, then I am happy for him.“For my first season we got three trophies and a place in the Champions League which was the main objective. I’m going to the Champions League, that’s what I wanted.“Next year, the objective is the Premier League. There is also the Champions League and we will have to give that proper attention.”World-record signing Pogba received criticism for his mixed performances in a campaign that saw him rack up 51 appearances and nine goals across all competitions.But the midfielder insists manager Jose Mourinho’s view is the only thing that is important to him.“What matters is what the coach thinks of you, not the rest,” he said. “He brought me confidence, three trophies too. “He trusted me and I was comfortable as soon as I arrived. I was very happy [with winning the Europa League]. It was the goal because in the Premier League we saw that it was complicated.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Veterans Day closures

first_imgWhat’s open and closed Tuesday:• GARBAGE: Waste Connections will operate on its regular schedule. In Camas, pickups normally done Tuesday will be made Wednesday.• MAIL: No home delivery except Express Mail. Post offices closed. The postal unit at Shell, 1605 N.W. Sixth Ave., Camas, is open 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day of the year.• PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Closed.• COLLEGES: No classes at Clark College or Washington State University Vancouver.• PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Closed.• BUSES: C-Tran and TriMet buses follow regular schedules.• GOVERNMENT: Offices closed.• PARKING METERS: On-street parking in Vancouver is free Tuesday.• BANKS: Most closed. Some in-store branches might be open.• U.S. FINANCIAL MARKETS: Open.• DRIVER LICENSING: Closed.• VEHICLE LICENSING: Closed.• EMISSIONS TESTING: Closed.• CLARK PUBLIC UTILITIES: Offices open. For 24-hour customer service, call 360-992-3000. For outages or emergencies, call 360-992-8000.• FIRSTENBURG COMMUNITY CENTER: Open.• MARSHALL COMMUNITY CENTER: Open.• ZOO: Oregon Zoo in Portland is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.• THE COLUMBIAN: Open.last_img read more