Seventh Circuit Rules Illinois Can Restrict Churches to 10 People

Jun 26, 2020

man reading bible
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Illinois’ Covid-19 stay-at-home orders on Tuesday, refusing to issue an injunction against Governor Pritzker’s decision to limit indoor religious gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Two Illinois churches, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries, sued Governor Pritzker in May, claiming he was violating the First Amendment's rights to free exercise of religion and the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act by targeting religious congregations. After a U.S. District Court judge sided with Pritzker in denying the churches’ injunction request, the two churches appealed to the Seventh Circuit.
Last week, a three-judge panel of the appellate court heard arguments over the churches’ attempt to secure a court order barring Pritzker from again using his emergency powers to restrict religious gatherings, regardless of the status of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office claimed the governor has never shown any hostility toward religious freedom but believes the Constitution does not restrict his ability under the law to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives.
Attorneys for the church will seek a review of the ruling by the full Seventh Circuit and will appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court if needed.
News Sources:

Seventh Circuit rules Illinois can restrict churches to 10 people
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