A day after a U.S district court ruled that scores of churches could temporarily continue meeting in New York City schools, an appeals court ruled that the restraining order against the city applied only to the Bronx Household of Faith, the primary church named in the lawsuit.
As reported by The New American, on February 17 Judge Loretta Preska (photo) of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York had granted a stay on behalf of the churches affected by an earlier ban implemented by the board of education, ruling that the congregations “demonstrated irreparable harm and a likelihood of success on the merits of their Free Exercise and Establishment Clause claims.”
But late on February 18, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that narrowed the applicability of Preska’s restraining order to the single congregation, leaving dozens of churches scrambling for meeting places.
Jane Gordon, an attorney for the city, said she was “pleased that the Circuit has narrowed the TRO [temporary restraining order] to the Bronx Household only,” adding that the city’s department of education “is legitimately concerned about public schools being affiliated with a particular religious belief or practice.”
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