by Amanda Prestigiacomo
On Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr issued a strong warning to political officials across the nation for targeting the faithful in the midst of social distancing and lockdown measures combating the China-originated novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Though he urged that social distancing measures should be followed, Barr emphasized that houses of worship cannot be targeted with different standards. While “the Constitution does allow some temporary restriction on our liberties that would not be tolerated in normal circumstances,” he said, even in these circumstances, religious discrimination is always prohibited.
“[E]ven in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers,” the AG continued, according to The Hill. “Thus, government may not impose special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to similar nonreligious activity.”