Posted Mon Nov 30th 2020, 10:15 pm by Amy Howe
Less than a week after the Supreme Court lifted COVID restrictions on attending church services in New York, a Christian school in Kentucky and the attorney general asked the Supreme Court on Monday to allow face-to-face tuition in religious schools. The Danville Christian Academy and Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron of Kentucky argued that the state’s Democratic governor Andy Beshear treated religious schools less favorably than “a wide variety of secular gatherings,” ranging from college basketball games and weddings to Preschools and universities rich classrooms.
The dispute revolves around a November 18 ruling in which Beshear closed all “public and private elementary, middle and high schools”. A second order, issued on the same day, allowed other personal activities and gatherings – such as theaters, bowling alleys, wedding venues, and offices – to remain open subject to attendance or capacity restrictions.
Danville Christian, a private K-12 school near Lexington with 234 students and an average class size of 12-17 students, went to federal court to challenge Beshear’s order in violation of the constitutional freedom clause. Cameron joined the school in her lawsuit. Beshear filed an affidavit from his public health officer stating that “catastrophic outbreaks” had been linked to “restaurants, weddings, funerals and religious services” and that Beshear had decided to “close down personal facilities where COVID” was located -19 is most likely to be transmitted. “
On November 25, the district court issued an order preventing Beshear from enforcing the personal schooling ban “in relation to any private religious school in Kentucky that adheres to applicable social distancing and hygiene guidelines.”
Beshear went to the US Circuit Court of Appeals and asked it to put the district court order on hold. The appeals court upheld Beshear’s motion on Sunday, concluding that Danville Christian and Cameron are unlikely to prevail, as Beshear’s order was neutral and applied to all secular and religious schools in Kentucky.
Danville Christian and Cameron filed an urgency motion to the Supreme Court Monday afternoon, telling judges that the 6th Circle’s “application of the freedom clause” in light of the Supreme Court decision last week in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is “demonstrably wrong” against Cuomo, who prevents New York from enforcing the attendance restrictions in places of worship. In upholding Beshear’s order, Danville Christian and Cameron argue, the appeals court has looked at the boundaries of religious schools in a vacuum, ignoring the more favorable treatment the second order bestows on other secular personal gatherings, although those gatherings “risk greater risk Create breakouts. “Danville Christian and Cameron paint the contrast between gatherings that are allowed and forbidden severely:” Why, “they ask,” a 12-year-old can go to the cinema with two dozen other people, but she can’t watch yourself the greatest story ever told in Bible class with a smaller group? Why can Kentuckians cheer their favorite NCAA basketball teams indoors, attend a restricted-size wedding, or keep the Black Friday shopping traditions, but kids can’t congregate for the school chapel? “
The challengers’ request for an order putting the 6th circuit decision on hold goes first to Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is in charge of 6th circuit emergencies. Kavanaugh can respond to the request himself or, more likely, refer it to the court of law.
This article was originally published by Howe on the Court.
Amy Howe, a Christian school in Kentucky, asks judges to intervene in disputes over personal tuition in religious schools.
SCOTUSblog (November 30, 2020, 10:15 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/christian-school-in-kentucky-asks-justices-to-intervene-in-dispute-over-in -person- Classes-at-religious-schools /