Congregation Yesheos Yakov v. State of New York

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On October 6, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order targeting predominantly orthodox Jewish communities for lockdown. He closed their schools, synagogues, and businesses. This comes after Gov. Cuomo proclaimed to the media that the orthodox [Jewish] community is responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in New York, while ignoring other communities with comparable rates of COVID-19 transmission.

This blatant unconstitutional attack on orthodox Jewish communities cannot stand. The Center for American Liberty is fighting back. Please considering joining the fight for liberty and equality by making a tax-deductible gift today!

About the Case:

The Center for American Liberty, in coordination with the Dhillon Law Group, is proud to represent Congregation Yesheos Yakov, through Rabbi Moshe Rosner and Congregation Netzach Yisroel, though Rabbi Chaim Leibish Rottenberg in a legal challenge to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s discriminatory—and unconstitutional—lockdown of orthodox Jewish communities.

This suit arises after Gov. Cuomo falsely blamed the orthodox Jewish community for a surge in COVID-19 cases in New York. Gov. Cuomo described the surge as “a predominantly ultra-orthodox cluster.”

Interestingly, Gov. Cuomo is not shutting down schools, houses of worship, and business in neighboring “clusters” with comparable COVID-19 test positive rates. Instead of relying on science and data, Gov. Cuomo freely admits that his decision to shut down orthodox Jewish communities is based on “fear.”

The governor’s lockdown went into effect on October 9, 2020. This date is not coincidental; it was the date of the sacred Jewish holy day of Hoshana Rabbah.

Governor Cuomo’s actions violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, the Freedom of Assembly Clause of the First Amendment, Substantive and Procedural Due Process Rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Complaint

Demand Letter

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