Their hypocrisy caught up with them Friday as a federal judge said Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democrat Attorney General Letitia James, and Marxist New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “exceeded” their power by limiting worship services but approving mass protests.
U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe issued a preliminary injunction Friday on behalf of two Catholic priests, Steven Soos and Nicholas Stamos, and a trio of Orthodox Jewish congregants, Elchanan Perr, Daniel Schonborn, and Mayer Mayerfeld in Brooklyn, represented by the Thomas More Society.
De Blasio had, “simultaneous pro-protest/anti-religious gathering messages” when he “actively encouraged participation in protests and openly discouraged religious gatherings and threatened religious worshipers,” said Judge Sharpe.
The federal order states, “Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules. They could have also been silent. But by acting as they did, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.”.
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara lauded the decision and said Cuomo’s executive orders a “sham” that “went right out the window as soon as he and Mayor de Blasio saw a mass protest movement they favored taking to the streets by the thousands.”
“Suddenly, the limit on ‘mass gatherings’ was no longer necessary to ‘save lives,’” said Ferrara in a statement.
“Yet they were continuing to ban high school graduations and other outdoor gatherings exceeding a mere 25 people.”
Ferrara added, “This decision is an important step toward inhibiting the suddenly emerging trend of exercising absolute monarchy on [the] pretext of public health. What this kind of regime really meant in practice is freedom for me, but not for thee.”
The federal order mandated that, Cuomo, James, and de Blasio are “enjoined and restrained from enforcing any indoor gathering limitations” against the involved houses of worship.
They are also forbidden from “enforcing any limitation for outdoor gatherings provided that participants in such gatherings follow social distancing requirements as set forth in the applicable executive orders and guidance.”
An example of the blatant hypocrisy of DeBlasio’s stand was this message, “My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”
After that point, when armed looters, arsonists, and vandals were ransacking New York City and firebombing police vehicles, DeBlasio said nothing and actually encouraged the rioters by his prior statements.
The three named officials may appeal this decision to a higher court.
But their double standard is so obvious they may decide that in this case discretion is the better part of valor.