United States —
May 23, 2020 1:16 PM | With information from EFE
15 minutes. A United States Court of Appeals (US) declined to lift temporary restrictions on religious services to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The San Francisco, California-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Governor Gavin Newson’s move was not targeted selectively at religious activities.
The court ruled on a lawsuit filed in early May by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista.
“A suicide pact”
Judges Barry Silverman and Jacqueline Nguyen defended, in a majority opinion, that it is being dealt with “with a highly contagious disease”.
The magistrates noted that if a court does not use “practical wisdom,” it will convert the Bill of Rights. “in a suicide pact”.
But Judge Daniel Collins dissented, considering that the ban violates the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of worship, expression, the press and assembly.
Churches as “essential” places
The decision came after Donald Trump announced on Friday the designation of churches, synagogues and mosques as “essential places.”
Religious sites come to be considered “crucial,” a category that hospitals or food processors also entered.
“I urge governors to allow churches and places of worship to open”Trump declared.
Then, he threatened to suspend the authority of the governors if they do not allow it and ended his intervention saying: “The US needs more prayers, not less.”
Trump did not clarify which presidential powers he was referring to to nullify the power of the governors. Similarly, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany also offered no details.
Legally, the federal government does not have the authority to override the decisions of the governors, who are empowered to decide whether or not to resume the activity of an area.
What Trump can do is support the accusations against governors who have filed religious institutions, which consider that the restrictions by the virus violate his right to freedom of worship as stated in the Constitution.