The Supreme Court has blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order to limit religious institutions to allowing only 10 to 25 people inside churches and synagogues to worship.
The court found in favor of the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel, with the majority saying the order goes against religious freedom and “single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment,” according to The Associated Press.
Cuomo had set the limits of who could attend religious services to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in early October. The state said the court did not need to decide on the case due to the restrictions recently being changed, NBC News reported.
The Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America have houses of worship in Brooklyn and Queens, both of which had been designated red and orange zones that had state-mandated attendance limits, but the areas have been downgraded to yellow, with less restrictive rules, the AP reported.
The religious organizations argued that stores could remain open without limits, allowing nonessential businesses to decide how many people were allowed to enter.
The decision was split 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan dissenting.
Recently appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who replaced former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg after her death, sided with the rest of the conservative justices on the court, joining Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr.
More coronavirus pandemic coverage:
Cox Media Group