New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday dismissed as "irrelevant" a U. S. Supreme Court decision blocking coronavirus restrictions imposed on religious gatherings, saying it related to specific areas that were no longer considered at high risk.
The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, voted 5-4 late on Wednesday in favor of requests by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish congregations for an injunction to block the restrictions from being enforced.
The order marked one of the first consequential actions on the court involving President Donald Trump's new appointee, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast a deciding vote in favor of the religious groups. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court's three liberals.
"HAPPY THANKSGIVING! " Trump tweeted on Thursday in response to the decision.
The case stemmed from an Oct. 6 decision by Cuomo, a Democrat, to shut down non-essential businesses in targeted areas where infections have spiked, including some neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
New York has categorized areas where coronavirus infections are increasing in severity as yellow, orange or red. Under Cuomo's restrictions, houses of worship in red zones could remain open at 25% capacity up to a maximum of 10 people.
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