New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo brushed off his loss at the US Supreme Court on Thursday. The justices' 5-4 ruling temporarily keeps the state from limiting gatherings at religious institutions in areas hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic to 10 people. The decision "is more illustrative of the Supreme Court than anything else," Cuomo said. "It's irrelevant from any practical impact." That's because the areas facing the limits are no longer considered "red zones," said a counsel to the governor. So the congregations are now allowed to operate at 50% capacity, Politico reports. If those areas backslide, there's still room for restrictions under the ruling, the counsel noted, and social distancing and mask rules could still be enforced.
Calling the state's restrictions "unduly harsh," a New York organization of Catholic bishops said the court ruling is "an important one for religious liberty." But churches will keep working with state government to keep people safe during the pandemic, a spokesman said, adding that "protecting the vulnerable is a pro-life principle." President Trump tweeted a link to the ruling in a post saying "Happy Thanksgiving!" In a holiday proclamation issued Wednesday by the White House, Trump urged people to assemble "in homes and places of worship" on Thanksgiving, per the New York Post. (Thousands of people attended a New York wedding planned secretly.)