ACRU’s von Spakovsky: Governors can’t suspend the First Amendment
A federal district court judge has taught Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (a Democrat) a valuable lesson: The COVID-19 pandemic does not give her the right to suspend the First Amendment right of Kansans to practice their religious beliefs. Several other state and local officials should take heed, too. Kelly signed a series of executive orders restricting public and private activities due to the COVID-19 crisis. On April 7, she issued Executive Order 20-18, prohibiting “mass gatherings” of more than 10 people in a confined or enclosed space. Violators were subject to up to a year in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both.