Criminal charges must be dropped against a Louisiana pastor who held indoor church services in defiance of the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings early in the Covid-19 pandemic, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The Rev. Tony Spell has faced six misdemeanor counts since March 31, 2020, for violating two executive orders imposed by Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) that limited gatherings and issued stay-at-home orders.
Overruling two lower courts, the majority opinion found that Edwards’ orders were unconstitutional as they applied to Spell.
“Specifically, the state did not show the religious exercise at issue is more dangerous than the ...