Kentucky judge overrules a ban on drive-in Easter church services citing the move ‘unconstitutional’ and something ‘out of a dystopian novel’

Sunday, April 12, 2020
By Paul Martin

On Fire Christian Church filed a suit against Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the city after Fischer banned drive-in style religious gatherings
Fischer said they were not ‘practical or safe’ due to the coronavirus pandemic
US District Judge Justin Walker ruled in favor of the church on Saturday and said Louisville cannot put a stop to the services
Walker blasted the ban as ‘unconstitutional’ and out of ‘a dystopian novel’
Mississippi enforced a similar ban, with footage circulating on social media of police officers shutting down a service in Greenville on Thursday
Republicans have blasted Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s statewide plan to order people into quarantine if they attend mass gatherings

By RACHEL SHARP
DAILYMAIL.COM
12 April 2020

A Kentucky judge has overruled a ban on drive-in church services in Louisville ahead of Easter Sunday, citing the move ‘unconstitutional’ and something ‘out of a dystopian novel’.

On Fire Christian Church filed a suit against Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the city after Fischer announced that drive-in style religious gatherings were not allowed on Easter because they are not ‘practical or safe’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US District Judge Justin Walker ruled in favor of the church on Saturday and said Louisville cannot put a stop to the services.

This comes as authorities in Mississippi enforced a similar ban, with footage circulating on social media of police officers shutting down a service in Greenville on Thursday.

Judge Walker blasted the ban in Kentucky as something out of the ‘pages of a dystopian novel’.

‘On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter,’ said Walker, who was recently nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat on the powerful US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

‘That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion.’

He said the city is prohibited from ‘enforcing; attempting to enforce; threatening to enforce; or otherwise requiring compliance with any prohibition on drive-in church services at On Fire.’

Walker added that: ‘The Mayor’s decision is stunning. And it is, beyond all reason, unconstitutional.’

He also noted that drive-thru restaurants and liquor stores were still allowed to operate in the area.

The judge’s decision was welcomed by Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul who tweeted: ‘Thank God for a judge who understands the First Amendment prevents the government from prohibiting the free government exercise of religion.’

The ruling came as Republicans blasted Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s statewide plan to order people into quarantine if they attend mass gatherings, saying it unfairly singles out religious services.

Under the new action, people seen participating in mass gatherings in Kentucky this weekend will have their license plate numbers recorded by authorities, who will provide the information to local health departments.

Health officials will contact each participant and require them to go into quarantine for 14 days.

Beshear, a deacon at his church, said the action was needed to prevent an Easter weekend acceleration of the coronavirus.

The Rest…HERE

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