Court Orders NYC To Let The Churches Back Into The School Buildings

Posted onFebruary 27th, 2012

Churches and other religious groups will be able to return to NYC public schools for their worship services, because of a preliminary injunction granted by Chief Judge Loretta Preska late Friday afternoon in Manhattan. The court ruled that NYCís ban on private worship services meeting during non-school hours violates the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment, and NYC cannot justify its policy by claiming that it is needed to avoid an Establishment Clause violation. This is a great victory for religious liberty.
NYC will undoubtedly appeal the preliminary injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and also ask that court to stop the preliminary injunction pending the appeal. ADF attorneys stand ready to respond to that appeal and to fight any attempt to stop this court order that protects religious freedom.
NYCís policy against worship services also could be eliminated by the state legislature. The New York Legislature comes back into session this week, and the Assembly could take up the bill passed by the New York Senate. If it goes to the floor, it is likely to pass, because a majority of the Assembly members have signed onto the bill. This policy needs to go, either by legislative repeal or court injunction, because it opposes this nationís strong commitment to religious liberty. Much will likely happen this week. Stay tuned and pray.