Spell v. Edwards (U.S.C.A. 5th Circuit, 2020)

Free Exercise of Religion

5th 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 Louisiana 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 standards. Furthermore, the sought exemption is not a permissible religious accommodation. It would violate the Establishment Clause by preferring the church over other houses of worship and jeopardizing the health of others.