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

Alice Oleva James

first_imgAlice Oleva James, 92, of Aurora, Indiana, passed away Friday, November 17, 2017 in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.She was born September 9, 1925 in Pike County, IN, daughter of the late Clarence Ropp and Grace Miley Ropp.Oleva worked as a machinist for Campbell Hausefeld, retiring after several years of service.She was a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church Bellaire, she was very involved in church happenings. Oleva was a Sunday School teacher, a VBS teacher, and a member of WELCA, where she held several offices. Oleva was even the co-author of a play at St. Johns called “He is Risen”. She was also the cemetery historian for many years. Oleva was a 1943 graduate of Hazelton High School in Pike County. After high school, Oleva worked at the airplane factory in Evansville during WWII. She was a secretary for Farm Bureau Insurance and also for the Pike County Court House. Oleva was a co-owner and operator of the Briarwood Market. She enjoyed sewing, yard work, gardening, crocheting, and was a member of the Kitchen Band (RSVP). Oleva loved her church family and friends. Her family was her greatest joy. She was the family genealogist. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.Surviving by her husband of 70 years, Gerald V. James; children, Jeri Alan (Marisella) James, Mary Alice (Michael) Horton, Joseph Edward (Sue Mureng) James, Lora Irene James; grandchildren, Stephanie (Brandon) Jones, Daniel (Jennifer) James, Benjamin James, Ashley (Joe) Goad, Melissa James, Heather James, Brent (Abby) Horton, Michaela (Gunnar) Hoffman, Morgan Horton, Jennifer (Josh) King, Jacob James Reiber, Kobi Michael James; sisters, Vonnie Jean Holland and Mary Hall; 11 great grandchildren.She was preceded in death by,parents, step mother, Lora (Mason) Ropp, son, Robert James, grandson, Jonathon James.Friends will be received Monday, November 20, 2017, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the St. John Lutheran Church of Bellaire, 4937 State Road #48, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at the Church on Tuesday at 11:00 am with Pastor Matthew Voyer officiating.Interment will follow in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Lawrenceburg, Indiana.Contributions may be made to the Relay for Life-Hope Highway. If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more

O’Shea – Sunderland must look ahead

first_img Press Association Sunderland skipper John O’Shea has urged the club to move on from the Paolo Di Canio debacle after confirming the players had a role in the Italian’s departure. Asked if the players had felt the need to have their say over Di Canio, he told the Sunderland Echo: “That was obviously done. But we have to move on now. “Because of the position we are in in the league, we can’t keep going back to it. We have got some difficult months ahead. “Whoever comes in, whether it’s Bally [interim head coach Kevin Ball] or a new manager, we have got tough times ahead. “We have to stick together and if we keep going back to it, it will soon be too hard to pull back from where we are.” Ball guided Sunderland to a 2-0 Capital One Cup victory over Peterborough on Tuesday night, but saw his side beaten 3-1 in the league by high-flying Liverpool on Sunday despite a spirited display. He has asked to be considered for the permanent post with Gus Poyet still the bookmakers’ favourite, although chief executive Margaret Byrne has revealed that discussions have taken place with several candidates and that there will be talks with more this week. The longer that consultation progress continues, the greater the chance of Ball remaining at the helm for Saturday’s home clash with wounded Manchester United. And should he eventually get the job, that would go down well in the dressing room. Di Canio was sacked last Sunday evening after a disastrous run of results, and it later emerged that a furious showdown in the dressing room following the 3-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at West Brom and another at the Black Cats’ Academy of Light training ground the following day had prompted a delegation of senior players to call upon the board to take action. But as the search for the 45-year-old’s replacement continues, O’Shea insists that he and his team-mates must put a chaotic episode firmly behind them as they attempt to turn their season around. O’Shea said: “Without a doubt, he’s made an impact. If it does happen, the players would be very happy. “But we will wait and see what the club decides.” Sunderland currently lie at the foot of the Premier League table with just a single point to show for their six outings to date, and four adrift of West Ham in 17th place. last_img read more