Andrew Wommack Ministries, Inc. v. Polis (U.S.C.A. 10th Circuit, 2020)

Separation of Church & State

10th Circuit Court of Appeals ,

Separation of Church & State

At issue in this case is a church invoking the Free Exercise Clause to seek a full exemption from a Colorado coronavirus public-health order.  The order limits indoor religious services to the lesser of 175 attendees or fifty percent of room capacity, which is similar to or less restrictive than limitations on comparable nonreligious activities. In rejecting this claim, the legal brief joined by ADL asserts that the order is fully consistent with all Free Exercise Clause standards. Furthermore, the sought exemption is not a permissible religious accommodation. It would violate the Establishment Clause by jeopardizing public health and thereby favoring the church’s religious practices (requiring unlimited in-person worship) over the rights, interests, and beliefs of others.