A federal choose on Tuesday refused to exempt a spiritual group from Gov. Jared Polis’ public well being orders prohibiting massive gatherings in the course of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
A authorized group representing Andrew Wommack Ministries sued Polis on Monday, forward of a deliberate Pastor’s Convention scheduled to begin Oct. 5 that’s anticipated to attract greater than 600 attendees.
The lawsuit challenged Polis’ 175-person cap on non secular gatherings in the course of the pandemic as unconstitutional, and requested U.S. District Decide Christine Arguello to exempt Andrew Wommack Ministries from the restrictions.
She declined to take action Tuesday.
“Granting such an injunction would current a excessive threat of hurt to the state of Colorado in addition to the general public typically,” she wrote within the order. “…The reduction the Plaintiff requests has the potential to extend case numbers considerably, inserting a excessive burden on the state. Additional, Plaintiff could be compromising the well being of the general public, which may trigger the loss of life of an untold variety of harmless residents.”
Attorneys for Andrew Wommack Ministries filed a discover with the court docket Tuesday that they plan to attraction the choice. The lawsuit was filed by Liberty Counsel, a conservative nonprofit authorized group headquartered in Florida.
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“The virus doesn’t discriminate between nonreligious and spiritual gatherings, however Gov. Jared Polis does,” Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver mentioned in an announcement, including later, “We glance ahead (to) presenting arguments to the Court docket of Appeals, and even the Supreme Court docket, at a while sooner or later. This case is way from over.”
The problem of COVID-19 restrictions on homes of worship has reached the U.S. Supreme Court docket already this 12 months, with the justices voting 5-Four in Could to reject a problem by a California church suing to cease that state’s order to close down non secular companies.
In Tuesday’s order, Arguello famous that the authorized arguments offered by Andrew Wommack Ministries are just like circumstances which have already been determined.
“Quite a few courts have thought-about, and persuasively rejected, practically equivalent arguments,” she wrote.