Neuberger Updates Religious Restrictions Lawsuit Against Governor Carney

Subscribe

On May 13, 2020, Wilmington’s high profile Neuberger law firm sent a letter to Governor Carney demanding that he lift restrictions on religious worshipping.

This morning the firm sent a copy of the court docket that shows what religious restrictions Governor Carney has lifted in response to a federal lawsuit against the Governor. The docket also shows which restrictions remain.


Case 1:20-cv-00674-CFC Document 7-1 Filed 05/25/20 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 174 

Timeline Addressing Establishment Clause Issues (with Some Free Exercise Overlap) Bullock v. Carney (as of May 25, 2020) 

May 13th & Earlier – Church services limited to 10 persons. Defendant admits this is an effective ban. 

May 13 – Plaintiff’s counsel sends demand letter that churches be opened. (D.I. 1 at th  Ex. E). 

May 18 – Governor presents his Hobson’s choice regulations to churches. (D.I. 1 at th Ex. F; D.I. 4 at Tab 4 at p.6). As outlined in the Verified Complaint filed the next day (D.I. 1 at p. 19-20), churches were banned from the following: 

(1) No worship more than once a week. (D.I. 1 at Ex. F at p. 1). 

(2) Service limited to 60 minutes only. (Id.). 

(3) Person to person Communion banned, and other restrictions make Communion appear impossible. (Id. at p. 3). 

(4 ) No use of a common cup, the chalice. (Id. at p. 3). 

(5) No holding or touching for baptism. (Id. at p. 4). 

(6) No persons 65 Years or older. (Id. at p. 2). 

(7) No use of choirs. (Id. at p. 2). 

(8) 10 feet social distancing requirement for Pastors, Readers, and Song Leaders. (Id. at p. 2). 

(9) No non-worship service ministries. (Id. at p. 1). 

(10) No Holy Water. (Id. at p. 3). 

(11) No use of hymnals & prayer books. (Id. at p. 3). 

(12) No use of ushers for collections. (Id.). 

(13) No touching microphones. (Id. at p. 2) 

Case 1:20-cv-00674-CFC Document 7-1 Filed 05/25/20 Page 2 of 3 PageID #: 175 

(14) Use limited to 30% of operating capacity if other requirements are met. (Id. at p. 1). 

(15) Churches told that violation of these guidelines or regulations will result in criminal punishment. (D.I. 4 at Tab A at p. 6). 

May 19th at 9:27 a.m. – Verified Complaint filed. (D.I. 1). 

May 22nd at 1:52 p.m. – Opening Brief and Motion filed. (D.I. 3-4). 

May 22nd at 4:00 p.m. – Defendant issues new Order. (Tab B attached – 19 Modification). th 

May 23 – Defendant issues new 5 new pages of regulations. (Tab C attached). rd 

These new regulations show two things: (1) that defendant has abandoned several of his requirements as to the form and content of religious worship services which were challenged in this lawsuit; and (2) that defendant has banned additional religious practices: 

Using the same list from above, defendant abandoned or otherwise changed the following: 

(1) No worship more than once a week. REMOVED. 

(2) Service limited to 60 minutes only. REMOVED. 

(3) Person to person Communion banned. CONFUSED. 

(4 ) No use of a common cup, the chalice. REMAINS. 

(5) No holding or touching for baptism. REMAINS. 

(6) No persons 65 Years or older. REMOVED. 

(7) No use of choirs. REMAINS. 

(8) 10 feet social distancing for Pastors, Reader, and Song Leaders.  MODIFIED & REDUCED TO SIX FEET. 

(9) No non-worship service ministries. REMOVED. NOW 

ALLOWED WITH 10 PERSON LIMITS. 

(10) No Holy Water. REMAINS. 

(11) No use of hymnals & prayer books. MODIFIED. 

(12) No use of ushers for collections. REMAINS. 

(13) No touching microphones. REMOVED. 

(14) Use limited to 30% of operating capacity if other requirements are met. MODIFIED – UNLIMITED CAPACITY IF YOU MEET OUTDOORS. 

(15) Churches told violations will be criminally punished. REMAINS. 

Defendant has effectively banned: 

  1. The Transubstantiation practice where a Catholic Priest during the Mass changes the wine into the blood of Christ and gives it to each Communicant to drink out of the same Chalice. This was the banned common cup earlier.
  1. The Common ritual of the Catholic Priest dipping the Host into the 

Chalice and then placing it on the tongue of the Communicant. 

  1. Adult baptism by immersion is still forbidden. 
  2. Protestant infant baptism where the pastor physically holds the infant and lifts the child up for the congregation to see. 
  3. Pastors, Readers & Singers now must wear a face covering or shield, and if they cannot they should not be “directly facing the congregation” or they should be “increasing the distance between them and the congregation.” (Tab C at p.2).
  1. Choral singing is still banned although many churches have balconies, risers, and/or stages from which a choral group of more than two singers can sing while remaining six feet apart from each other and the congregants.

About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

View all posts by Staff Writer →