Judge Denies Agudath Israel’s Restraining Order Against Gov. Cuomo’s Restrictions

Judge Denies Agudath Israel’s Restraining Order Against Gov. Cuomo’s Restrictions

By Yehudit Garmaise

 In a crushing blow, a United States District Court judge just denied Agudath Israel of America a temporary restraining order (TRO) it requested to deny the intensified restrictions that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law via an executive order on Wednesday.

   The restriction that caused the most uproar in Boro Park was Gov. Cuomo’s order that all houses of worship in red zones can only be filled to 25% capacity, or a maximum of 10 people, which is of course, particularly punishing in frum communities in its last days of Yom Tov.

   The Boro Park community was particularly and unpleasantly surprised by Gov. Cuomo’s announce because just hours before his press conference on Tuesday, he had spoken with religious leaders and merely emphasized the need to better enforce social distancing and to keep houses of worship at 50% capacity.

  Gov. Cuomo’s other intensified restrictions in what he calls the red zones, zones with the highest number of COVID positive patients, were to close, for at least 14 days, all the public and private schools, all the non-essential businesses, and to ensure that all restaurants in the areas are take-out only.

  To obtain a TRO, the complainant must persuade the judge that he or her will suffer “immediate and irreparable injury unless the order is issued,” the Cornell Law School website says.

   Taking its setback in the first of several hearings against the state gracefully, Agudath Israel reminded Yidden on Twitter to “follow health guidelines as we celebrate z’man simchaseinu.”

   As per the state and Agudath Israel, all the state-mandated rules remain in effect.

 Agudah also said on Twitter that the organization will “regroup after Yom Tov and determine our next steps.”

 On Tuesday, however, Gov. Cuomo was clear: “One of the prime places of mass gatherings are houses of worship,” he said.

   “I understand it’s a sensitive topic, but that is the truth – period. You want to solve the problem? Acknowledge the problem.”

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