Judge blocks Cooper limit on indoor worship

By on May 17, 2020

U.S. District Court Judge James Dever III has issued a temporary restraining order, putting on hold North Carolina Governor’s Roy Cooper’s Order that worship services involving more than 10 people must be held outdoors “unless impossible.”

The ruling, released on May 16, signaled agreement with the plaintiffs’ contention that the Cooper restriction violated their First Amendment rights, noting that, “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution of the United States or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.” A hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction will be heard on May 29.

A brief statement issued by Cooper’s office said that “our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of COVID-19.” It added that “while our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal.”


On 5/27/2010 Edge Spectrum, Inc was granted a license by the FCC to serve the public interest in BUXTON, NC as a public trustee of WHOB-LD until 12/1/2020 when it expires. WHOB-LD Channel 50 filed an FCC renewal application for our 2.5 kW station transmitting from BUXTON, NC and serving the BUXTON area on 8/3/2020. Individuals who wish to advise the FCC of facts relating to our renewal application and to whether this station has operated in the public interest should file comments and petitions with the FCC. Information about the FCC broadcast license renewal process is available from the FCC, Washington, DC 20554.



  • OBXhome

    “ There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution of the United States or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.” Thank you, Judge Denver. I hope the county commissioners are paying attention.

    Sunday, May 17 @ 6:18 pm
  • Zack Bass

    Perhaps God will protect them.

    Sunday, May 17 @ 7:49 pm
  • hightider

    You can worship at home, even Jesus said to go into a closet to pray. The Book of Matthew says “your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” I have to wonder if to many, church is primarily a social function since they are so adamant on congregating.

    Monday, May 18 @ 9:57 am
  • Mark Copeland

    Commissioners and Mayors and Governor, I am a restaurant owner and we need to know when we are allowed to open to outside seating or even just being able to open our doors. We all need to know now, not the day of. We need to order food, liquor, etc. we need to know days ahead So we can prep. Oh that’s right y’all don’t own a restaurant. Everything else is open now it’s time. Togo’s are not cutting it and their not good for business. LETs GO!

    Monday, May 18 @ 1:21 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Mark, expect people to take their cues from Governor Roy Cooper. In the next day or two, he is expected to announce whether North Carolina will move to Phase II of easing restrictions on May 22. If he does, then it is expected that restaurants would be allowed to open, at reduced capacity.

    Tuesday, May 19 @ 9:01 am
  • Miguel

    One person with covid-19 exposed 180 Americans at a Mother’s Day church service in California. Extrapolate those numbers and what it means to those exposed, those who were subsequently in contact with one of those 180 people, the medical teams charged with the future care of any of these patients who were exposed and ……
    maybe people will begin to understand that this virus is no joke, there is no vaccine in the works for this calendar year at least, and the risk of transmission and exposure expands in ever-widening circles of people who have given up on social distancing and self-quarantining.
    God will attend to your prayers wherever and whenever you offer them; it shouldn’t involve risking your health and the lives of others.

    Monday, May 18 @ 3:11 pm
  • Trashcan Man

    “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” Except in today’s world, gathering for religious services is the sickness of the masses.

    Tuesday, May 19 @ 9:27 am
  • Dethrol

    This is not about God hearing prayers. At issue is the absolute prohibition against any restriction on the free exercise of religion. No government, or element of government, has the power to define how a religious body operates. That’s what Free Exercise means. If you don’t feel comfortable at church services, it is your right not to attend. It is not your right to dictate how a religious activity worships or to place restrictIons on the free exercise of religion.

    Tuesday, May 19 @ 11:08 am
  • Lemonshirt

    Early visitor Arthur got me to thinking: Wouldnt it be ironic if neighboring counties blockade the other end of the bridges in anticipation of a Cat 5 hurricane to prevent Dare Co locals from evacuating to safer places.
    Well, …maybe NOT ironic.

    Tuesday, May 19 @ 12:59 pm
  • hightider

    To the constitutional law expert’s comments: so if I want my religion to allow human sacrifices or sex orgies, it is my constitutional right simply because I allege it is a religion? Yeah, I want to be the person on his deathbed, dying in agony from COVID, saying “but, hey, I’m glad I exercised my constitutional right.” Actually I don’t care about that person at all, only the non-complicit people he infects, the ones who were just trying to stay safe that he coughed on 4 days later. And Festivus for the rest of us.

    Tuesday, May 19 @ 7:11 pm
  • sandflea

    Trashcan Man:
    Unfortunately, many of the people demanding to go to church will soon understand and meet Darwin.

    I’ve posted a number of time about the so called “constitutional law experts” and people drowning on their own lung juice. It really hard to breathe when your lung tissue has turned into a mass of scar tissue that has the consistency of a brick. Let the human sacrifices on the altar begin!

    Thursday, May 21 @ 8:52 am
  • Bill of Rights

    How ironic it is so many bash religion because frankly it is religion, and so many have grown away from religion? Where does this bus stop? Our rights to assemble a list our grievances have been trampled on. Our 4th amendment rights are affected because we are working for the benefit of the larger group. How many warrents are used to go into someone’s business that is open without government permission. Then the person is hauled of and locked up for doing nothing more than trying to make a living. Our government is using this pandemic as a way to scare our rights out of us. We are sheep willing to let them do it. We still have a Constitution as long as we the people protect it like this group of chruch folks did. Before bashing them for demanding their rights be heard, everyone should be cheering them on. They at lease have the guts to tell the government you will not tread on me. Our right are ours to protect against all Invaders foreign an domestic. The great Empire of Rome was destroyed from within. Is this our faith? Our generation will be the generation to decide. This country has faced many pandemics in the past, people died and the land and the courage of our nation always stayed the same. Why should this time be different? Medicine is better now we can save and issolte the more vulnerable. God bless us all, but never give up our nation or who you are because of fear. Americans rise up and fight for whats right. I think our constitution is worth it. Challenge everything they say isn’t allowed because of the pandemic that is a God given rights of these United States.

    Thursday, May 21 @ 11:29 pm