A federal judge has blocked an order from the Democrat governor of Kansas that specifically set limits on religious gatherings.
According to The Hill, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ordered that religious services in the state must be limited to 10 participants or less, but after a Wichita church sued, U.S. District Judge John Broomes shut that order down.
Protecting the Constitution
After Kelly issued the restriction, Dodge City’s First Baptist Church and Junction City’s Calvary Baptist Church both sued in protest of the order.
Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel for the conservative Christian Alliance for Defending Freedom, explained the rationale behind the case, saying, “Public safety is important, but so is following the Constitution. We can prioritize the health of safety of ourselves and our neighbors without harming churches and people of faith.”
Judge Broomes appeared to agree and wrote in his opinion Saturday that “churches and religious activities appear to have been singled out among essential functions for stricter treatment” in the order, WTOP in Washington reported.
In the past few days, protests have broken out around the nation as many on the right are worried that governors are overstepping their bounds in regard to the first amendment.
The protests are marked by citizens angry with the lockdowns and being unable to work. Some lockdown orders went too far, and now, Americans around the nation are losing faith in the government to properly handle the situation.
The governor of Kentucky is also facing a lawsuit after he ordered police to ticket the vehicles of churchgoers. Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, said that “the only reason these people were given notices is because they were in a church parking lot. Had they parked in the nearby shopping center they would not have been targeted. This is clearly Gov. Andy Beshear’s discriminating against churches,” he added, according to The Hill.
Governors facing re-election may want to tread carefully as churchgoers around the nation have not taken kindly to stay-at-home orders targeting services that observe social distancing guidelines.
Political fallout coming
The coronavirus pandemic has also made Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) a household name for her excessive and, as some have said, “authoritarian” orders.
Whitmer first attracted flak for banning sales of garden seeds and other items she had deemed “non-essential.” While most Americans agree that some measure of social distancing is necessary, several Democrat governors — especially Whitmer — have taken enforcement to the next level.
The coronavirus crisis could have major implications for upcoming elections. Some leaders have handled the crisis well and others have failed spectacularly. It would not be surprising to see intensive campaigns waged against governors who overstep their constitutional boundaries, such as Kelly and Whitmer.