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Judge rules Cuomo COVID-19 cluster restrictions in NYC can go forward: Report

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Posted at 12:21 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 23:03:58-04

NEW YORK CITY — An Orthodox Jewish group was unsuccessful in suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday over restrictions he put in place in Brooklyn and Queens to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

Agudath Israel of America argued in its federal court complaint that the constraints make it impossible for Orthodox Jews to meet their religious obligations.

The lawsuit was filed amid a week of increased tension between Cuomo and Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City. Some residents say the state is unfairly targeting Orthodox Jewish communities as it tries to stamp out virus hot spots before they grow.

Angry and sometimes violent protests erupted in Borough Park this week in response to the state's new restrictions on schools, businesses and houses of worship placed on the neighborhood, which is seeing a spike in coronavirus cases.

Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have insisted the new restrictions are based solely on science and data on coronavirus clusters.

“We have always attacked clusters ... This cluster happens to be predominantly in the ultra Orthodox community in Brooklyn and Queens,” Cuomo said during a coronavirus briefing on Friday. “This is not the first time we have taken this action.”

The lawsuit filed by Agudath Israel of America asks that a judge issue a temporary restraining order on Cuomo’s "discriminatory restrictions," followed by an injunction and judgment that the governor’s executive order is unconstitutional.

Brooklyn’s Roman Catholic diocese also filed a lawsuit Thursday, alleging the restrictions would force more than two dozen churches to close.

This is a developing story.