In a Supreme Court ruling just before midnight on Thanksgiving eve, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor penned another of her fiery dissents — this time warning, in her view, of the dangers of the Court’s majority position on New York state’s Covid-19 restrictions.
The high court, in a 5-4 vote, blocked restrictions on religious services that Governor Andrew Cuomo had introduced to fight the spread of the coronavirus. The majority found that Cuomo’s restrictions violated the First Amendment’s protection of free exercise of religion. These restrictions specified that, depending on infection rates, the number of worshippers at religious services could be limited. Justice Neil Gorsuch concurred, writing, in effect, that it was unconstitutional to have laws regulating churches and synagogues while allowing liquor stores and bike shops to reopen.
Sotomayor, the nation's only Latina Supreme Court Justice and a native New Yorker, was not having it.