By Outer Banks Voice 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.”
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