Antietam Battlefield KOA v. Hogan (U.S.C.A. 4th Circuit, 2020)

Free Exercise of Religion

4th Circuit Court of Appeals ,

Free Exercise of Religion

At issue in this case is a church invoking the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses to seek a full exemption from a Maryland coronavirus stay-at-home order equally limiting religious and secular communal gatherings to 50% of facility capacity. In rejecting these claims, 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 the health of others, as well as preferring the church’s religious beliefs (requiring in-person worship) over other faiths.